Friday, April 22, 2011

Lemon-Pesto Chicken

This recipe was inspired by my AeroGarden, as a way to use the profusion of fresh lemon basil I had on hand.  I used all three kinds of basil in the Gourmet Herbs seed kit; approximately 5 parts lemon basil, 2 parts globe basil, and one part sweet basil.



Ingredients:

  • 1 c. Fresh basil, finely cut
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. chicken (tenders or boneless breasts)
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach
  • 2 16 oz. can of mushrooms (pieces and stems)
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. flour
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry or 1 tsp finely cut fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dry or 1/2 tsp finely cutfresh oregano
  • 1/4 c. fresh finely cut parsley
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. package wide egg noodles



Directions:
  1. In a large pot, heat oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pot) slightly over medium-low (3-4 on most stoves) heat.  Add onions and brown to translucent.
  2. Raise heat to medium-high (6-7) and add chicken.  Allow to sear on each side before stirring, but do not let it burn.
  3. While chicken is cooking, in a separate pot, make a simple rue white sauce with the butter, flour and milk.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic to taste. 
  4. Once the chicken is mostly solid white, add the white sauce and mushrooms.  If using dried herbs, add them at this point.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes.  Stir as necessary to keep from sticking, but do so gently — you don't want to break down the chicken too much.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, start water for the noodles, lightly salted, on highest heat.  When it boils, add noodles, stirring occasionally, until cooked.  Drain noodles.  (This will happen concurrently with remaining instructions for sauce.)
  6. Add the fresh herbs, stir in gently, and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes or so.
  7. Add the spinach, a bit at a time to allow it to wilt into the sauce so that it will all fit into the pot.  Allow it to cook, stirring gently occasionally, until noodles are finished.
  8. Serve with parmesan if desired.

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