pesto and parm chicken

You will want to try this apple wood smoked bacon wrapped boneless skinless chicken breast stuffed with pesto and shredded Parmesan, slowly baked to trap both the moisture and the flavors in.  It looks like an entree you would order at a fine restaurant except you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost without sacrificing the flavor! 

I just got a great deal on boneless skinless chicken breasts ($1.69/lb.) so I bought about ten pounds of it to stick in the freezer.   I had to stock up because buying groceries for 6+ people is not cheap!  I had to try to make something different with it though so my family doesn’t get bored with the usual ways of making chicken breasts.  I also had about four containers of pesto that I stocked up on when I got an awesome deal on them with coupons!  Even though I bought the pesto (because it was FREE), I still wondered what am I going to use this for?  Hmmmm…..and then it hit me!  Why not try stuffing the chicken breasts with the pesto and Parmesan?  Wrapping the chicken with bacon was then a must to hold everything in and trap the moisture in the meat.  I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out and my family was impressed with the taste, texture and moisture.

I simply cut the chicken breasts length wise, cutting them thin so that rolling them was not so difficult.  I was able to cut about three pieces from one breast.  However, the chicken breasts were enormous!  The average chicken breast could probably be cut in half.  I then took a heaping spoonful of pesto and smothered every inch of the chicken breast.   I used probably one-eighth cup of shredded Parmesan to cover the pesto then simply rolled the breast up and wrapped it in thick sliced apple wood smoked bacon.  I chose thick sliced apple wood smoked bacon to give it a smoky flavor that would compliment the chicken without over powering it.  I was careful to cover the chicken with the bacon where there was a possibility that the pesto and parmesan may ooze out.  I also wrapped it tightly, laying the chicken down on the end pieces of the bacon so they stayed on while cooking.  It turned out phenomenal and was so easy to make!  So on to what you are going to need to make this recipe at home.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breasts

12 ounces of apple wood smoked thick sliced bacon

1 small jar of Barilla Pesto

1-8 ounce bag of Kraft shredded Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle with seasonings like seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the thawed chicken breasts thin running the length of the breast.  This makes rolling them easier.  The average chicken breast could be cut in half whereas, very large chicken breasts may be able to be cut into thirds.  Once the breasts are cut, cover them with pesto sauce and then the shredded Parmesan cheese.  Roll the breasts up tightly and wrap with the bacon paying special attention to the areas that the pesto and Parmesan may ooze out.  Cover those areas tightly to trap the ingredients and moisture in.  Place the broken pieces of bacon down in the pan with the weight of the chicken holding the bacon down.  Sprinkle the bacon wrapped chicken with seasoning salt, garlic powder and black pepper.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or more in a 9″ x 13″ pan.  Check the breasts as they cook to ensure that they are not being over cooked.  The bacon should be crisp and the chicken should be white all the way through when they are finished.  Enjoy!

Please let me know how I am doing and leave a comment!