Creamy Pesto Chicken


Creamy Pesto Chicken is a dish that marries the flavors of tender chicken with a luxurious sauce featuring basil pesto. The creamy texture of the sauce complements the savory chicken, creating a dish that is both comforting and flavorful. It's often served over pasta or with a side of vegetables, making it a versatile and popular choice for meals.

One interesting aspect of Creamy Pesto Chicken is its versatility in terms of ingredients. While basil pesto is the classic choice for its vibrant flavor, you can also experiment with different types of pesto. 

For example, sun-dried tomato pesto adds a sweet and tangy twist, while spinach or arugula pesto can bring a peppery note. These variations can significantly change the flavor profile of the dish while still maintaining its creamy and comforting appeal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Optional: 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (drained and chopped) or 2 cups fresh spinach (chopped)
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Begin by seasoning both sides of 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts to the skillet. 

Cook them for approximately 6-7 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and fully cooked with an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). 

Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and set them aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low. 

Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. 

Next, add 1/2 cup of basil pesto to the skillet. Stir the pesto into the garlic, allowing the flavors to meld together.

After incorporating the pesto, pour in 1 cup of heavy cream. 

Stir the cream and pesto mixture thoroughly, ensuring they are well combined. 

Optionally, you can add 1/2 cup of drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes or 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach at this point to add extra flavor and texture to the sauce.

Once the sauce is well combined and heated through, return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet, coating them evenly with the creamy pesto sauce. 

Allow the chicken to simmer gently in the sauce for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the chicken to reheat.

To serve, you can garnish the Creamy Pesto Chicken with fresh basil leaves, if desired. This dish pairs well with pasta, rice, or a side of vegetables. Enjoy your creamy and flavorful pesto chicken!
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