Baked Chicken Breasts with Pesto and Prosciutto

Very simple, very delicious. I serve this with Angel Hair pasta, tossed with olive oil and butter, drizzled with the pan drippings and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. YUM. 

4 small boneless chicken breast halves, or two large halves cut in half
4 Tbsp. prepared pesto sauce (such as Buitoni)
4 thin slices prosciutto ham

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread about one tablespoon pesto over each piece of chicken, and wrap in one slice of prosciutto. Bake for about 25 minutes, until juices run clear.


Easy and Amazing Chicken Paprikash

Warning: This is addictive … and very easy! Do use the smoked paprika if possible … it adds a wonderful nuance to the traditional flavor of this dish. Enjoy! 

Serves 4

1/4 cup butter
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts (about 2 halves, each cut in half crosswise to make four pieces)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream

1 12-oz. pkg. egg noodles
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil or olive oil

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup butter and add chicken; cook until lightly browned, turning once. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of water, and season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper; cook about 8 to 10 minutes more, or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
Stir the flour into the sour cream; then slowly whisk it into the paprika mixture remaining in the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook just until thickened. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, return chicken to skillet and cook 2 minutes longer.
While chicken is cooking, cook noodles according to package directions for al dente. Toss with 1 Tbsp. butter and oil and set aside, covered.
To serve, divide noodles among four plates. Top each with one piece of chicken and pour sauce over.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Since I’m making this tonight, I unearthed the recipe from the May 1984 issue of Bon Appetit, and I decided to share it here in the process. I’ve made this a lot over the years … it’s incredibly easy and absolutely delicious. Tonight, I’m serving it with a couscous and black bean salad that I’ve never made before. If it’s good, watch for that recipe to show up here too! ;~) 

4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
3 Tbsp. chili powder, divided
3 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Lime wedges

Pound each breast half between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to uniform thickness of 1/8 inch*. Arrange on baking sheet. Blend 1 Tbsp. of the chili powder with the oil. Brush each breast with some of the mixture. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours.

Blend remaining chili powder with softened butter. Set aside.

Prepare charcoal grill or preheat broiler. Season breasts with salt. Cook just until meat turns white, about 45 seconds. Turn and cook second side quickly. Do not overcook. Transfer to heated plates. Place 1 Tbsp. chili butter on each breast. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Nowadays, supermarkets carry boneless breasts that are pre-sliced to about this thickness. That can save you some time in preparation, although I’m not convinced that they would be as tender as the pounded breasts.

Food fact du jour: Pounded chicken breasts are also known as “paillards.”

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