I must say, I am not a fan of pesto at all, but for some reason this recipe sounded really appealing to me. Blame the tomatoes; I’ll just about anything for tomatoes. Just to be safe, I used less pesto than the original recipe called for. If pesto is your thing, go ahead and use the full 3 tablespoons. I dipped a fork in the pan with the sauce just to steal a little taste, and at first, I almost gagged. The basil and pine nuts (two things I cannot stand at all, hence the dislike of pesto) were super overwhelming. After chugging some water, I recovered slightly and decided to give it another go. The taste had improved slightly and I decided the meal wasn’t a total waste. Well, for some reason, with every bite, this meal just got better and better. Like, we are talking absolutely delicious. I was totally contemplating licking my plate by the end.
This meal is super fast and super easy. I would highly recommend it for a quick weeknight meal or for an easy, yet impressive dinner party. If I was to make this again, I would definitely add more garlic (Who doesn’t like garlic? Nobody, that’s who.) and, if I was feeling completely crazy, maybe even some chili flakes. I think I might even try a sun-dried tomato pesto*, instead of traditional basil (like I said, I’m crazy for tomatoes). Some onions, mushrooms, or even spinach would be pretty good mixed in.
Even though this is a chicken dish, it is super adaptable for a vegetarian meal! The sauce would be perfect over grilled vegetables or pasta. It would be really easy to keep the chicken and sauce separate until serving, thus the sauce could be used to serve vegetarians as well as chicken eaters.
* – If you live in the UK or Europe, Barilla has amazing jarred pesto as well as tomato based pestos as well. I highly recommend the tomato and red onion pesto and the sun-dried tomato pesto. For some reason Barilla does not sell a lot of their (tastier) sauce varieties in the US (I’m looking at you olive pasta sauce!), so if you are overseas, please enjoy all of their sauces on my behalf.
Summer in Winter Chicken (adapted from BBC Good Food)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- garlic powder
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 200g/1 pack of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
- splash of white wine
- fresh basil, if you have it
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Heat the oil in a frying pan, preferably non-stick. Add the chicken and fry without moving it until it takes on a bit of color. Turn the chicken and cook on the other side. Continue cooking for 12-15 mins until the chicken is cooked through.
- Halve the tomatoes and throw them into the pan, stirring them around for a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Reduce the heat and stir in the pesto and crème fraîche until it makes a sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter with a few basil leaves if you have them.