So y’all know that I love to cook. I also love to share my favorite recipes with all of you. I also love when you share your with me (that doesn’t happen nearly enough, but that’s a story for another week).
This week I found another great recipe for you, but we first we have talk about the cooking technique involved.
Have you heard about ‘hasselbacking’? Don’t worry; it has nothing to do with football or that crazy woman from The View.
Hasselbacking involves cutting slits down food and stuffing it with all sorts of tasty goodness. Check out my pic to see what I am talking about. I had a hard time figuring out what the recipe meant without the visual.
While the recipe I am going to give you is for chicken, near as I can tell you can hasselback most meats, fruits and vegetables if you are patient and have a great knife. A good knife is important here – especially for veggies, because you need something sharp enough that it will cut without much effort so you can focus on controlling the depth of the cut because you don’t want to slice clean through the food.
So now that we have the technique down, let’s get to the recipe!
Pesto Hasselback Chicken
• 2 medium chicken breasts
• 2 tablespoons pesto
I made my own pesto by combining 2 cups of fresh basil, 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of pine nuts in a food processor, and then stirred in 1/2-3/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Or you can buy your own. Also since it took me 40 minutes to find pine nuts at Giant, I’ll give you a hand and tell you they are in the baking aisle with the other nuts near the chocolate chips.
• 3-4 oz. low-moisture mozzarella
• Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Using a sharp paring knife, make slits in the chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. Make a cut about every 1/4 inch all the way down each chicken breast.
Using a small spoon, spread some pesto down each cut and insert a small, thin slice of mozzarella cheese.
When both chicken breasts are done, bake them at 350º F for 30 minutes. The chicken should register 165º F when it’s cooked through.
Serve hasselback chicken with salad or a side of your choice! I made some asparagus to go with mine. I tossed the asparagus in olive oil and salt and pepper, the spread it out on a baking sheet. I sprinkled it with parmesan cheese (and by ‘sprinkle’ I mean I pretty much coated it – don’t judge me) then I crumbled pre-cooked bacon on top and threw it in the over with the chicken for the last 10 minutes or so.
This is a super simple recipe that is really good, reasonably healthy (skip the bacon and use part skim mozzarella) and looks way more fancy than it actually is, so try it on someone you want to impress!