Sunday, May 04, 2014

Pesto Yogurt Chicken

The original recipe called for drumsticks, which is the way I made it the first time (with homemade pesto). The Engineer ate his drumsticks with his hands, while I was struggling with my knife and fork – he said that I wasn’t eating with enough zest. While the chicken was really good, we really both prefer breasts (or at least we would like a version of the cartoon drumstick that is just a chunk of meat impaled on a bone!). So I made it again with chicken breasts, and this recipe is really a keeper!

4 chicken breasts
¾ cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt (the lactose-free kind)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, combine the pesto, yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Put the chicken drumsticks into a gallon sized Ziploc bag (or you can just throw the chicken in the same bowl as the pesto-yogurt mixture, but make sure it’s a large bowl). Add in the pesto-yogurt mixture, and zip up the bag. Make sure to shake or turn the bag a bit so that all of the pesto-yogurt mixture gets on and seeps into all of the chicken drumsticks. If you’re using a bowl to marinate the chicken in, make sure to cover the bowl tightly with either plastic wrap or a tight fitting lid.

Refrigerate the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil (this step really helps with the cleanup). Lay the chicken pieces in a single layer on top of the foil, making sure to space them well.

Bake until the skin is crisp (if your breasts had skin) and the chicken is cooked through, or until the internal temp reaches 165 °F on an instant read thermometer, 25-35 minutes. Make sure to turn the chicken after 15 minutes, so that both sides get browned. If you want to crisp up the skins a bit more, throw them under the broiler for a few minutes.

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