Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken

I just got back from an action-packed weekend of nothing but sunshine, white wine (I know, I know, I know) and giggles with some of my best girlfriends.  The occasion? My lovely friend Brynn’s bachelorette party.  We spent three days soaking in the Suncadia sun, catching up and acting like college kids again.  30-something days ago, I promised you all that I would hold fast to my Whole 30 moral ground and abstain from the kind of indulgences that are associated with bachelorette parties… things like cupcakes and beer and shots of whatever it is that seems like a good idea at the time.  I’m not at all sorry to say that I let you down… kind of.  I actually was able to hold fast to a (mostly) Paleo diet, indulging in a little bit of Beecher’s Flagship cheese and some delicious Paleo brownies (can’t wait to share this recipe with you!!).  However, I did drink quite a bit of white wine and even took a Jaegar bomb at some point last night.  Jaegar bomb aside, I don’t regret a thing about this weekend – not even the two-hour nap I apparently took in the kitchen at the after party.  Whoops.  Certain life celebrations are “go big or go home” ordeals – celebrating Brynn’s final days of singledom was definitely one of those celebrations.

Before heading out for the weekend, I prepped this dish in case I found myself in a situation where cheese and crackers and pasta were the only food options available to me.  While it isn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, I’d argue that it is one of the most delicious recipes I have ever adapted.  There was a ton of leftover pesto too, which would be great in turkey wraps, paired with veggies, tossed in a sweet potato salad, or on top of a burger.  Now, excuse me while I tuck into the remaining leftovers and lick my wounds for the rest of the night.  My party muscles hurt.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:

2 c. tightly packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 c. pine nuts

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

12 slices prosciutto

12 sun dried tomato slices (I used jarred tomatos in olive oil)

3/4 c. coconut milk

Pepper, to taste

Method:

1) Blend basil, salt, garlic, pepper and pine nuts in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.  Add olive oil slowly until the pesto is your desired consistency.

2) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lay and overlap 3 slices of prosciutto on a work surface.

3) Place a chicken breast on one end of the prosciutto square.  Using a sharp knife, create a pocket in the side of the breast.  Spoon some pesto into the slit and top with 3 sun dried tomato slices.  Sprinkle chicken with pepper and wrap prosciutto around the chicken breast.  Place in an baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

4) Bake chicken until cooked through and golden, 20-30 minutes depending on size of breast.  Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

5) For the pesto sauce, combine chicken pan juices and 1/4 c. remaining pesto in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook for 1 minute before adding the coconut milk.  Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40-50 minutes

Serves: 4 very hungry bachelorettes

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