Friday, June 27, 2008

Chicken Pesto Parmigiana with Prosciutto and Pesto Gnocchi

 I was out one day shopping with my Mom, when she asked me for ideas for dinner and I came up with this. It's simple, with ingredients that are typically around the house (at least my house), that can be put together pretty quickly.

Chicken Pesto Parmigiana
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken tenders or chicken breasts
3/4 cup Pesto (when basil is in season, homemade is best, but store bought can be used)
Prosciutto slices
1 cup bread crumbs (italian seasoned works well, but if you have plain, just add a tsp of Italian seasoning)
1/3 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1/2 cup flour
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 16oz. package vacuum-packed gnocchi 

Preheat oven to 350. If using chicken tenders, they're already thin filets, so no need for beating, if you use the chicken breasts, you will need to use a meat mallet, and pound them! Have flour in one shallow dish, beaten egg in another shallow dish, and bread crumbs and parmigiano in another shallow dish. Dip chicken into flour first, then egg, then bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in skillet, medium heat, and brown chicken on each side for about 4 minutes per side. Put a dollop of pesto on each piece of chicken, then wrap in 1 slice prosciutto and place in baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. While chicken is in the oven, boil water and cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Drain, put in serving bowl and stir in 1/4 cup pesto.  Serve chicken with side of gnocchi in pesto.  

Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil
¾ cups olive oil
½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
½ cup pine nuts
1-2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and dry basil leaves, and toss all ingredients into food processor, and let her rip. There you have it. I like to have some pieces of pine nuts that are big enough to be recognizable, and add some more texture, so I leave some out of the food processor, and just lightly crush them, and add them to the processed ingredients.

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