A versatile, Italian food friendly chicken: Pollo con pesto

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Here is a lightly breaded chicken breast that seems to go with most any type of Italian food. It tastes just as great with a marinara as it does with an Alfredo, or even a fresh pesto like I served it here.

Lightly Breaded, Italian Seasoned Chicken Breast

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into ½” thick strips
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian blend seasoning
buttermilk or whole milk
oil for cooking

Directions

Place chicken strips in glass bowl and cover with just enough buttermilk or whole milk to completely submerge. Let stand for approximately one hour. Meanwhile, mix flour, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in shallow bowl.

Pour cooking oil in large skillet to cover bottom with approximately ¼ inch of oil and heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Dredge chicken breast in seasoned flour and fry for approximately four minutes and then turn and fry for three to four minutes on the other side. Set aside on paper towel lined plate.

Serve on top of your favorite pasta. Tonight I made fresh pesto. Here’s my pesto recipe.

Pesto

Ingredients

4 cups basil leaves packed fairly tight
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup grated Parmesan
4 cloves garlic
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil (Start with ¼ cup)

Directions

First, toast your pine nuts by placing them in a skillet on the stove top and heating them on medium heat. Shake the pan often to prevent them from burning. It should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes to toast the pine nuts.

Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Pulse several times to begin blending ingredients. Then constantly blend ingredients while drizzling olive oil into food processor. Use only enough oil to turn ingredients into smooth, thick sauce. The pesto should be able to hold a slight form. Add the pesto to your favorite pasta and blend well and serve immediately.

Tomato Salad — Exceptionally Quick… Exceptionally Good

I arrived home very late tonight so it was a quick meal of pasta with the left over Pesto di Noce from Monday night. Susan and I were still just a little hungry after the pasta so she suggested that I cut up some tomatoes and drizzle some olive oil over them. That smart young lady got me thinking. Why not chiffonade some basil and mix that in too. In less than five minutes we had a delicious tomato salad.

Here’s all there is to it:

Cut up in somewhat large chunks your favorite tomatoes. I used Romas as that is what I had. I wish I could say they were fresh from my garden but July’s tempest did my tomatoes in. Chiffonade some basil and sprinkle it on top. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the basil and tomato. Sprinkle a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. A little shredded Parmesan and there you go; a tasty tomato salad!

Eating well doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money… Which reminds me, are you taking Slow Food USA’s $5 Challenge September 17?