Friday, July 6, 2012

Dutch Oven Pesto Chicken

Hello everyone!  I hope summer is treating all of you well so far.  I certainly can't complain!  Life has kept me so busy I haven't had much time to cook, not just outdoors, but period!  Six weeks of two softball games a day has taken up any time I've had to cook.  I'm just glad that frozen pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches never killed anyone.  At least not in the short run!  I did have time last week during one of my rare days without a softball game to make this yummy chicken.

I know I've made no secret of my love for pesto.  It is one of my favorite things.  In fact, my basil plants have gotten huge and I'm making a batch of fresh pesto this afternoon!  Can't wait!  Anyway, this chicken is so easy!  We're talking three ingredients, not counting salt and pepper.  It doesn't get simpler than that!  Not only is this easy, it is sooo good.  It is a perfect weeknight meal or camping fare.  They would be great served with Soft Garlic Knots, Mini Focaccia or Parmesan Bread.

Baked Pesto Chicken

10" dutch oven 


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken 

1/2 cup basil pesto (I used my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but you can use purchased pesto.) 

2 oz. (1/2 cup) grated low-fat mozzarella cheese

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces. (I cut the larger ones into 3 strips and the smaller ones into 2 strips.)

Spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of a lightly oiled dutch oven. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes at 375°.  Use 1 1/2 ring plus a couple of coals on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Cook just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don't cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)

When chicken is barely cooked through, sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese.  Cook 5 to 10 minutes more, just until cheese is melted and begins to brown.
Serve hot. 

Source:  Kayln's Kitchen

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