- Prep time
- 15–20 minutes PT20M
- Cook time
- 20–25 minutes PT25M
- 4 servings
Creamy ricotta balances the sweet and peppery flavors of the pesto in this luscious dish.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ pound whole milk ricotta
- 4 ounces prepared basil pesto
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat oven to 350°F.
Lay one chicken breast on a clean cutting board. Insert a paring knife gently into the thickest part of the breast and make a horizontal incision, being careful not to cut through to the other side. Use your fingers to deepen the cavity made by the incision. Repeat the process with the remaining breasts.
In a bowl, combine the panko, ricotta, pesto, lemon juice and zest. Separately, combine flour and seasonings.
Fill a zip-top bag with the pesto and ricotta mixture. Cut off a corner to make a piping bag, then insert it into the cut side of each chicken breast, squeezing an even amount of filling into each. Dredge the stuffed breasts in the flour mixture, evenly coating each side.
Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Lay each breast top-side down in the oil and brown, 3–5 minutes. Gently turn chicken over, place skillet on the center rack of the oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to plates. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Techniques used in this recipe:
- dredge: to coat food with a dry ingredient such as flour or bread crumbs.
- <p><strong>basil:</strong> native to tropical Asia and Africa; there are 30 to 40 different species but generally only one common to the spice industry.</p><p>The basil plant is a low-growing annual approximately 18-inches in height. When seen growing in the field, it is almost succulent in appearance and gives off a sweet fragrance as one brushes by. The leaves are quite large, up to 2 1/2-inches in length and from 1/2 to 1-inch in width. The taste of fresh Basil is reminiscent of licorice, and the dried leaves have a lemony, anise-like quality. </p><p>Basil is versatile in its uses, which are limited only by the degree of inventiveness of the cook. It has a special affinity for tonatoes and tomato-based recipes, whether they be salads, vegetables, sauces, or main courses.</p>