Tomorrow is my youngest son’s 3rd birthday. Jarrett is getting so big! It is also the day I prepare for my first C.A.F.E. Treats distribution through Geordane’s in Irvington. I am so excited and crazed! We are having a family birthday party tomorrow for Jarrett and of course, I am planning and prepping the menu today. I am also making Magic Cookie Bars, Raspberry Oatmeal Squares and Decadent Chocolate Brownies for Geordane’s. They will be sold at the Blaze in Croton so if you are going, be sure to look for goodies with my logo on them. What does any of this have to do with my Foodie Friday post? Everything!
In preparation for a very special birthday party, launching a product line and getting ready to sponsor an amazing fundraising event in NYC, Women of the Congo, by providing treats next week, I am in way over my head. As such, the boys in the house are lucky if dinner gets on the table at all. When it does, it’s definitely not going to be overly fussy or complex. Hence, I make baked chicken. It’s always my easy standby. This time I changed it up a little bit.
I had bone-in chicken breasts in the house. I pulled them out and stared at them waiting for some guidance as to what to do. I got nothing. I think I’ve shared with you my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cooking philosophy. (Not sure how well that will serve me in culinary school, however there is one week where we do a Chopped-style competition and cook out of a basket. I’m hoping it will work for me in that lesson.)
I then looked in the fridge and pulled out some sun dried tomato, garlic and parmesan cheese*. Ok. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting somewhere. I eye the food processor on the counter and then see the basil plant on my windowsill. Now, I know what I’m going to do. I throw the sun dried tomato, basil and garlic in the food processor, add some olive oil and kosher salt and I have a nice pesto. I brush it all over the chicken breasts, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese, put them in the oven and about 40 minutes later, voilà, dinner is served. It’s a pretty good one too. One that seemed like it was fussed over a bit more than it was. Try this out on a night you don’t want to work too hard but maybe want to seem like you did. I served it over rice but it would be nice next to some pasta with marinara sauce too. Enjoy!
*I list this recipe as dairy free since the parmesan cheese is optional and not a necessary component.
- 4 chicken breasts on the bone
- 2 T Red Wine Vinegar
- Garlic salt to taste
- 8-10 sun dried tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves
- 6 basil leaves, rinsed
- ⅛ C olive oil (I tend to be a little light on oil, feel free to add more if you like)
- kosher salt (and pepper) to taste (my kids protest if I use a drop of pepper in anything so I usually don't. I would if they didn't since I think it really adds to the flavor of most dishes)
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Season chicken with red wine vinegar and garlic salt (I always like to have some base seasoning on chicken) and place in a 9x13 baking dish
- Combine sun dried tomatoes, garlic and basil in food processor and pulse until chopped finely and add kosher salt to taste (I probably use about 1 tsp)
- Drizzle in olive oil and continue to pulse until appears to be a nice, slightly chunky pesto
- Brush sun dried tomato pesto over chicken
- Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it, if you like
- Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until internal temperature of chicken registers 165 degrees (I like my skin crispy and toppings a little roasted so I usually leave it in a few minutes longer)
- Serve on top of rice or alongside some pasta with marinara sauce and enjoy!
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