Recipe of the Week


Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

Pesto is usually made with chopped garden herbs, such as basil, blended with pine nuts and olive oil. In south Louisiana, pecans have been substituted for pine nuts to give this pesto Southern flair. Pesto is ideal as a pasta coating or pizza topping and can also be eaten on garlic bread.

6 boneless chicken breasts, skin-on
⅓ cup pecans
½ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp minced garlic
⅔ cup loosely-packed basil leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup vegetable oil
granulated garlic to taste
½ cup flour
¼ cup diced shallots
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp minced garlic
1½ tbsps flour
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 200°F. In a food processor, combine pecans, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and basil leaves. Pulse 1–2 minutes or until mixture is well chopped and blended. With processor running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture resembles paste. Do not over-process or basil will darken and appear unappetizing. Season with salt and pepper then set aside. NOTE: If stored in a glass jar and refrigerated, pesto will be good for up to 2 weeks. Store in freezer if a longer holding time is desired. In a sauté pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry. Season meat with salt, pepper and granulated garlic then coat lightly in ½ cup flour, shaking off excess. Sauté chicken, skin-side down, 3–5 minutes. Turn and continue to sauté until skin is crisp. Remove from pan and place on cookie sheet in warm oven and bake until internal temperature reaches 165°F. In same sauté pan, sauté shallots, mushrooms and 1 teaspoon minced garlic 2–3 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Sprinkle in 1½ tablespoons flour and blend well. Whisk in white wine and chicken stock. Bring sauce to a low boil then reduce to simmer. Add 2 level tablespoons of prepared pecan-pesto to pan along with heavy whipping cream. Whisk until blended. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. When ready to serve, place a small amount of sauce on bottom of a 10-inch plate and top with chicken, skin-side up. Place additional sauce over edges of chicken as garnish. A bouquet of fresh basil leaves may be placed in the center for color. Serve alongside cooked pasta.



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