If you love pesto, you are going to go ballistic over this flavorful pesto wine chicken with lemony sauce. Do not be discouraged by the length of the recipe. It’s really quite easy to make, even for a novice, and the result is truly gourmet. Why go to a restaurant?
Pesto Wine Chicken Recipe
1/4 cup pine nuts (also known as piñons or pignolis)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fine-grated Parmesan cheese (see Notes)
1 large clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 large lemons, divided use
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
8 chicken thighs (see Notes)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon (about) salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
1 cup strong chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
Additional chopped parsley or basil for garnish, if desired
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until they become fragrant and begin to turn go
lden. Set aside to cool while you prepare the basil.
Bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil. Turn off heat. Plunge whole basil leaves into the water for 5 seconds. Immediately remove the basil and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Swish the basil around to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly and gently press to remove excess water. Wrap in a paper towel to catch any remaining drips. (It doesn’t need to be bone-dry.) Place the blanched basil into the bowl of a food processor along with the toasted pine nuts, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Process into a paste. This is the pesto.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a covered casserole or Dutch oven with vegetable oil.
Season the chicken thighs with onion powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess flour.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, coat the bottom of the skillet with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the chicken on both sides, turning only once, until golden. (They will not be cooked through…more cooking is to come.)
Thin-slice the lemon(s) into 8 slices.
Place the browned chicken, skin-side up, in the prepared pan. Spread with the pesto, and top with lemon slices.
Combine wine and chicken broth. Pour down the side of the pan to surround the chicken. Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Remove chicken to a platter and keep warm. Pour the juices into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in cream and mustard. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley or basil to serve.
Yield: 8 servings
• Please do not use the shelf-stable Parmesan cheese that comes in the can or jar. Get the grated Parmesan from the refrigerated deli section or grate your own. You will thank me later.
• I prefer skin-on chicken thighs for better flavor. You may use skinless, if you like. Drumsticks may be substituted or use a mixture of thighs and drumsticks. I don’t recommend chicken breasts because they can so easily dry out during baking. If you choose to use white meat, reduce the baking time to 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered.
• If you cannot use wine, substitute additional chicken broth.
• If you do not have a large casserole with a lid, use a glass casserole dish or metal baking pan and cover tightly with foil.
Pesto Wine Chicken Recipe Photo ©2018 Peggy Filippone