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As any Parks and Recreation fan knows, it’s important to treat yo’self, especially when you need it most -- like on a random weekday. But if you’re planning to make yourself a decadent meal this evening, it can be tough to find a treat-worthy recipe that doesn’t require a ton of time in the kitchen.
Luckily, you can make a fancy scallion pesto-crusted chicken dinner and some warm brown butter raspberries for dessert, all in less than an hour. (It's true.) Dive into this dinner plan, and treat yourself to a dinner party-worthy meal tonight.
Click through on the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes, but we've also written you a handy grocery list and game plan below.
Scallion Pesto-Crusted Chicken by secretsofahomecook
Serves 4, with leftover chicken
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 pounds chicken breasts (4 to 6)
16 ounces raspberries
We're assuming you have olive oil, salt, breadcrumbs, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and raw sugar. If not, be sure to add those to your list, too.
1. Mix the pesto: Preheat the oven to 400° F. While the oven is still preheating, place the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and toast until just golden, which should take about 5 minutes. Pulse the toasted pine nuts in a food processor with the scallions, Parmesan, and salt. With the motor on, drizzle in 1/4 cup of olive oil until the mixture looks like a paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs.
2. Cook (and eat) the chicken: Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the pesto mixture over top of the chicken breasts, covering them evenly. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, or until the crust is brown. Serve as is, or slice chicken into 1-inch pieces. After you enjoy your dinner, divide the berries among 4 shallow bowls and prep for dessert.
3. Brown the butter: Drop the butter in a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Melt the butter and let it bubble and boil. It may spit, so place a spatter guard on top if you have one; otherwise, stand back. When the butter begins to brown on the edges, give the pan a light swirl so the butter browns evenly. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the butter begins to smell nutty. Add the vanilla.
4. Finish off your dessert: Spoon the butter over the raspberries and sprinkle them with sugar. You might want to do this at the table so everyone can eat right away, as this dish is best eaten while the butter is warm. Have everyone mix up their berries, then dig in!
Photos by Mark Weinberg and James Ransom