Pesto chicken kiev

The Western Star - - Lifestyle - Recipe by Ali­son Adams Photo by Al Richard­son

SERVES: 4 PREP: 50 min­utes

COOK: 35 min­utes

WITH just the right amount of crunch on the out­side, it’s the pesto fill­ing that shines in this spe­cial ‘com­fort food’ meal.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

4 chicken breast fil­lets

40g (1/4 cup) plain flour

2 eggs, lightly whisked

100g (2 cups) panko bread­crumbs

Mashed potato, to serve Fresh basil leaves, to serve PESTO BUT­TER:

3/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

2 gar­lic cloves, chopped

80g un­salted but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture

20g (1/4 cup) finely grated parme­san

METHOD

1. For the pesto but­ter, process the basil, pine nuts and gar­lic in a food pro­ces­sor un­til finely chopped. Add the but­ter and parme­san, and pulse un­til com­bined. Sea­son. Trans­fer to a plas­tic pip­ing bag. Use scis­sors to snip 1cm from the tip.

2. Use a long sharp knife to make a deep cut along the thicker side of each chicken breast to form a large pocket (do not cut all the way through). Pipe pesto into the pock­ets. Seal with tooth­picks.

3. Place the flour on a large plate. Whisk eggs in a large shal­low bowl. Place the bread­crumbs on a sep­a­rate large plate. Coat the chicken in the flour and shake off any ex­cess. Dip in the egg mix­ture, then in the bread­crumbs, press­ing firmly to coat. Trans­fer to a tray. Cover with plas­tic wrap. Place in the fridge to set for 15 min­utes.

4. Pre­heat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Spray the chicken with olive oil. Bake for 30-35 min­utes or un­til golden and cooked through. Re­move tooth­picks and serve the chicken kiev with the mash and a scat­ter­ing of fresh basil leaves.

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