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Pesto Glazed Chicken

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Curtis demonstrates his easy method for pounding up perfect pesto to use as a glaze for a moist chicken breast. Lightly herbed spaghetti rounds out the meal.

Pesto-Glazed Chicken Breast with Spaghetti

Pesto-Glazed Chicken Breast with Spaghetti
Ray Kachatorian
Provided by:
total prep

Ingredients

Directions

  • To make the pesto: Using a Bump and Grind or another large mortar and pestle smash the garlic into a coarse puree. Add 1 1/2 bunches of basil and pound until it is coarsely chopped. Mix in the grated Parmesan cheese. Add 1/3 cup of pine nuts and smash to break them up.
  • Slowly mix in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper. Set it aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat tablespoon of oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chicken breasts just until golden brown but not yet cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Spread the pesto over the top of the chicken breasts.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to prepare the pasta: Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking about 8 minutes. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the reserved pasta cooking water to blend well. Add the spaghetti and parsley and toss to coat.
  • To serve: Using a two-pronged carving fork swirl some of the pasta around the fork. Slide the pasta off the fork and mound it in the center of a plate. Repeat for each serving.
  • Cut each chicken breast crosswise and on a slight diagonal into 4 slices.
  • Arrange the chicken slices alongside the spaghetti. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup of pine nuts, shaved Parmesan cheese, and torn basil. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over and serve.
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