Search This Blog

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pesto cheesy chicken

O.K. You must make this! Today. I made it last night when it was snowing and cold. Perfect cold weather fare. You start with these basic ingredients: Sweet Italian sausage, San Marzano diced tomatoes, red wine, onion, garlic, olive oil, fresh oregano, Herbes de provence (Or Italian seasoning), beef broth. First, we'll make a red sauce to put on the chicken.

Start with a good cast iron Dutch oven. Swirl in some extra Virgin olive oil.

Now, Heat up your dutch oven over medium heat. Chop up an onion and throw it in the pot. I used a red onion, but you can use any type onion.

Smash and mince up about 5 cloves of garlic.

Throw them in the pot.

Stir them around so they don't stick and burn. Now it's time to add the sweet Italian sausage. I used 3 big links. Since I used links, I had to take the casings off. Just slice right down the sausage and peel it off. You can also use 1 pound ground sausage.

Roughly chop up the sausage. (This pic has enough gross out factor to make you want to never make this. Do not make that mistake. The end result is worth it).

Put the sausage in the pot. Turn the heat up to medium/high. You want to really brown the meat. Pale sausage is not appetizing. It's time to season things up. The earlier in the cooking process you season, the more flavor your food will have in the end. Add some Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, about 2 tsp Herbes de Provence, about 2 tsp fresh chopped oregano, and about a tsp red pepper flakes. Who doesn't like a little kick? Give it a good stir.

After the sausage is nicely browned, Deglaze the pan with 1 cup red wine.If you won't drink it, don't use it in your food. And, Never, Ever, use cooking wine. It is nothing but bottom of the barrell salty swill. If you don't want to use wine, sub in beef broth.

After you have scraped up all the yummy goodness stuck to the pot, add 1 jar  (28 ounce) San Marzano tomatoes. If you can't find these, just use 1 can of crushed or diced tomatoes, juice and all.

Give it a good stir, and turn the heat down to low. Add 1 cup beef broth, stir it up. While you start on the chicken, let the sauce simmer slowly on the stove, filling your  house with a wonderful aroma. After the sauce has simmered for about 15 minutes, it's ready to use. The more time you simmer the sauce, the deeper the flavors will develop. Depends on how much time you have. At this point, you could top off some hot cooked pasta and call it a day. But we won't. Nope, we're going for over the top here, so we carry on.

So, we'll use 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Give 'em a good rinse under cold water, then dry them off on paper towels. I suppose you could sub in boneless skinless breasts, but the dark meat has soooo much more flavor! And remember? We're going over the top today. Put the dry chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag and close it up tightly, squeezing out all of the air.

Now, grab your meat mallet and beat the crap out of these babies until they are super thin. This is a great way to take your frustrations, and it keeps your family safe, too. It doesn't matter if they get a few holes in them along the way.

They should look something like this. I know, this picture is turned the wrong way, and is fuzzy, but I have no idea how to fix it.. Season up both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Now, remember that delicious Roasted Garlic Pesto we made a few days ago? Pull it out, kids. It's getting serious now. Smear one side of each thigh with the pesto.
Next, open up your package of proscuitto.

Place 1 slice proscuitto on top of the pesto laden chicken. Trim it to fit.

Here's where it gets good. Top the chicken with some Fontina cheese. You could also use mozzarella. You can chop it or grate it. Doesn't matter. I don"t grate, as I end up grating off finger flesh. Not delicious.
Put some of the delicious red sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Fold the thighs over. Brush on more pesto. Place them in the dish.

Ladle a heaping bunch of sauce over the top.

It should look like this.

It's time for the finale. Sprinkle cheese over the top. I used some pre-grated Mozzarella and some more Fontina. YUM!

Bake in a 350 degree (f) oven for 30 minutes. 30 minutes is plenty of time to cook these, as the thighs were pounded very thin.

This photo really stinks. I must have been in a hurry to eat these packets of cheesy goodness!
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 onion
5 cloves minced garlic
28 ounces San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 tsp fresh oregano
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 tsp red chili flakes
salt and pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup pesto
2 cups cheese: Fontina and / or Mozzarella

No comments:

Post a Comment


Appetizer (9) arugula (1) asian (2) Asparagus; Vegetarian (1) avocado (1) bacon (1) Bargains (6) Bargains /Great websites (1) beans Mexican (1) Beef (2) beurre blanc (1) bread (2) butter lettuce (1) chicken (2) Chili (1) chowder (1) citrus salad (1) clementine (1) Cous cous; Main dish salad (1) dessert (1) dinner (2) dip (1) Dry aged Prime Rib Roast (1) easy meal (1) fish (2) french onion (1) Fruit (1) gravy (2) green beans (2) grilled (2) Herbs (1) holiday (5) Holiday Main:Beef (3) holiday side dish (1) Italian (1) kid friendly (1) leftover turkey (1) leftovers (1) light (1) Lobster (1) low carb (1) Low fat (1) Main course duck (1) Main dish beef (1) Main dish casseroles (6) Main dish chicken; Crock pot chicken; One pot meal (1) Main dish chicken;weeknight dinner (1) Main dish Lamb (1) Main dish Pork (1) main dish poultry (3) Main dish salad (6) Main dish seafood (4) Main Dish Soups (9) main dish: beef (4) Main Dish: Chicken (1) Main Dish: Ground Meat (1) Menu's (1) Mexican (1) on the road again (2) oyster (1) Pasta (3) pesto (1) Pie (1) potato (1) poultry (1) Prime Rib Roast (1) raw (1) roasted (1) Roasted garlic (1) Roasted garlic pesto (1) Salad (4) Salmon (1) Sandwich (1) scallops (1) sea bass (1) seafood soup (2) Side dish (2) Side dish: potatoes (2) Side dish: rice (2) side salad (4) slow cooker (1) smoked salmon (1) snack (1) Soup (5) stew (2) stock (2) Summer salad (3) Turkey (3) vacation (1) Veal; Main dish Veal; Holiday veal; Grilled meat (1) Vegetables (4) vegetarian (9)



About Me

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
I'm a home cook that can put some good tasting food on the table, most of the time. My family knows dinner is ready when the fire alarm goes off.