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Baked Pesto Chicken

While pesto is traditionally made with roasted pine nuts, we decided to put a Sugar Plum spin on it by using Herbes de Provence pecans from our Kettle-Cooked Herbal Pecan Sampler.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 cups of fresh basil leaves (or substitute with arugula, spinach, or massaged kale)

1/2 cup of Herbes de Provence pecans

1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Arrange chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while you make the pesto.

2. Add all remaining ingredients except for olive oil into a food processor. Pulse to chop finely, then let the food processor run as you slowly pour in the olive oil until mostly smooth. If needed, add more salt, pepper, and olive oil.

3. Spread a spoonful of pesto on top of the chicken, flip, and repeat to smother both sides (about 2 tablespoons for each filet). Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until the inside is no longer pink. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of chicken.

4. Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before cutting or slicing to maintain juiciness.

Enjoy your pesto chicken alongside fresh roasted veggies, or over a bed of pasta or zucchini noodles tossed in the remaining pesto. You can make your own zucchini noodles at home with a spiralizer, but most stores carry them in their produce section.

Got leftovers? We’ve got an idea for you! Make a salad for lunch tomorrow using the cooked chicken over leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, thin-sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese with a side of balsamic vinaigrette. Store remaining pesto in a sealed container in the refrigerator.