Chicken with a Pesto & Mushroom Sauce


Early on in our marriage I really struggled with cooking for only two people.  I had had several years on my own before we got married, but I had lived first in a rented room without any cooking facilities, and then I had lived with my mom.  The last time I had done any real appreciative amount of cookery, it had been for a large family along with friends, guests, etc.  In short, I was used to cooking for a lot of people!



I've had almost 19 years  now to hone my skills at cooking for a smaller audience. I think I can reduce almost any recipe you can throw at me these days, and make it suitable for only two people. The only time it gets really trick is in baking  . . .  that takes a bit more thought. 



Most regular recipes, however,  can easily be adjusted down, or up as needed. Its very simple to do.



And the simpler the recipe the simpler it is to do . . .  this recipe today is a fine example.


It uses only a very few ingredients . . .  boneless skinless chicken breasts . . .


white button mushrooms  . . .  garlic  . . .


Chicken stock and cream  . . . .


And at the very end, some basil pesto and lemon juice  . . .  simple ingredients . . .  really. 



I recommend using white mushrooms because darker mushrooms will colour the sauce and you don't want your sauce to turn grey or purple . . .  it would still taste good, but it wouldn't be as visually appealing  . . .


You can use a good store brand of Basil Pesto, or you can use a homemade pest.  Perhaps you have some in the freezer, that will also work very well.   I only add a couple of TBS of it to my sauce, but if you are really fond of pesto you might want to use more.


For me 2 TBS works perfectly.  I don't like it when any one ingredient takes over a dish . . .


I always use fresh lemon juice.  I am not a lover of the concentrate you buy in bottles.  I know years and years ago that is all people had, but nowadays fresh lemons are so much more readily available.


It just makes sense to use fresh  . . . and it tastes infinitely better if you do.  The chicken in this is so tender and delicious . . .  the sauce rich and flavourful  . . .


The two together are a little taste of heaven . . .  built just for two. (But easily doubled.)


Chicken with a Pesto & Mushroom Sauce

Yield: 2
Author:
Perfectly cooked chicken with a velvety luxurious sauce, flavoured with pesto and lemon. YOU might want to double up on the sauce.  Its gorgeous!

ingredients:

You will need:
  • 2 medium sized free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 TBS light olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
  • 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 60ml chicken stock (1/4 cup)
  • 120ml heavy cream (1/2 cup)
  • 2 TBS basil pesto
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice

instructions:

How to cook Chicken with a Pesto & Mushroom Sauce

  1. Wipe your chicken and pat it dry. You can pound it a bit until they are even in size.  Season generously all over with salt and black pepper.  Heat half the oil in a medium sized skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken breasts.  Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until golden.  Remove to a plate, tip a bowl over top and leave to set while you begin the sauce.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the skillet.  Add the mushrooms. Cook, without disturbing until they begin to brown.  Stir and continue to repeat until all are browned.  Don't agitate them too much or you will release too many of the juices and they will stew rather than fry.  Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about half a minute.  Stir in the chicken stock and the cream.  Return the chicken breasts to the pan, turning them to coat.  Bring to the boil then cover and simmer on very low heat for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Remove to a serving plate.
  3. Whisk the pesto and lemon juice into the sauce and gently heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Spoon over the chicken pieces and serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator



This is really, really good.  The sauce is so luxurious and creamy. You could make it lower fat by using evaporated milk instead of cream. I do believe you can get a low fat version of that.  I used a low fat brand of pesto today and I couldn't really tell the difference between that and the higher fat version.  This sauce is so delicious, you may find yourself wishing that you had doubled it, so I am warning you ahead of time just in case you want to do that.  You are sure not to regret doing so.  Your hips might moan about it a bit, but  . . .  in for a penny in for a pound! 



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