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Author Notes: I got the idea for this recipe from listening to a radio show one afternoon. Someone was talking about making a crust for tilapia, I think, and I thought it would be good on chicken. I made it for my girlfriend with gnocchi and garlic bread, and served it with wine. I think you could probably stretch this recipe quite a bit, as a bit of pesto goes a long way. —zwerkowitch
- 3 cups fresh basil
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pistachios (shells removed)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil or butter
- 1/2 cup pistachios (shells removed)
- 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 450º. Remove shells from all pistachios & spread them on a cookie sheet. Toast them for 5-10 minutes.
- Put all pesto ingredients, except olive oil, in food processor or blender, and blend until finely chopped.
- Slowly add 1/3 cup olive oil, as you continue blending.
- Taste a bit. Add salt, pepper, etc, to your liking.
- Remove pesto to a bowl. Pat chicken breasts with a paper towel, if needed, and spread pesto on both sides of breasts. There should be plenty left over for pasta. I let mine sit with the sauce on them for about an hour, but it's not necessary.
- Use food processor to chop remaining 1/2 cup pistachios finely. (I would at least rinse it out before this step.)
- Pour pistachios into a shallow bowl or plate. Mix in Italian breadcrumbs. Coat both sides of chicken breasts with crunched pistachios. This will be the crust.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet. Cook chicken on high heat until done, about 5-6 minutes on each side.
- Serve with gnocchi, or your favorite pasta.
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