Sunday, August 17, 2008

Almond-Apricot Chicken with Mint Pesto

***Have you ever been so wrapped up in a recipe and cooking it so fast that you leave something out? That's exactly what happened to me the other night...hah. We had just sat down to eat and after a few bites of this almond-apricot chicken, I was thinking "This is SO good, but isn't it missing something??" That's when I realized...the MINT PESTO! Somehow, I had completely forgotten to make it. Oh well...that just gives me an excuse to make it again...and I certainly will. This is another combination (almonds + apricots + chicken) that I likely would have never thought to make if not for my good ol' friend Martha Stewart. It was even tasty without the pesto! This season I've realized more than ever how wonderful fruits can be incorporated into savory don't limit yourself to only using fruits in desserts! They certainly work well in main courses too.***

Almond-Apricot Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (6 ounces each)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 ounces goat cheese
4 dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (3 tablespoons)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mint Pesto (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a slit in one side of each chicken breast to create a pocket about 4 inches long.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup almonds with the goat cheese and apricots. Stuff each breast with 1/4 of the mixture. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

On a plate, combine breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Dip each breast into egg, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until golden, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to oven; bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot with pesto on the side.

Mint Pesto
3 cups lightly packed fresh mint
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine mint and almonds; process until finely chopped.

With motor running, gradually pour oil through the feed tube. Season with salt. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Source: Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart Living

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