Thank you to Mezzetta for sponsoring todays post and inspiring me to create holiday memories in the kitchen.
When it comes to food, the holidays are all about classic comfort dishes that bring back fond memories. For me, nothing is more comforting than a skillet full of juicy chicken simmering away in a creamy pesto sauce. Mmmm did I have you at pesto?? If so, then youre going to be really happy when I mention that this dish has not one, but two different types of pesto!
I created this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken recipe to serve at our annual Christmas Eve dinner- a special tradition in our family. In years past (before we had two little rascals running around), we held an annual Christmas Eve party where Shaun and I would spend all day cooking up a delicious multi-course meal to serve our family and friends. Nothing was off limits and we tried to come up with unusual and delicious dishes like apple and fennel salad, rutabaga and sweet potato soup, fig stuffed turkey breast, and one of my favorites- parsnip gratin.
We havent had the party in a few years, but still keep up the tradition of a special Christmas Eve dinner (followed by a drive around town to check out the Christmas lights). Last year Shaun made our dinner extra special by cooking up a delicious fillet of local Rockfish. This year, I want to take the lead and make a dish that our whole family will enjoy. I pondered for awhile on what to make but then it hit me. Pesto. And cream. Ohh and sun dried tomatoes! I started with these savory ingredients and before I knew it, I had a skillet of this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken simmering away.
Making your own pesto is great in the summertime when fresh local basil is abundant, but in the winter, thats not so easy. Fortunately, my local grocery store carries Mezzetta products, so I can enjoy delicious pesto all year long (heres a coupon so you can try Mezzetta pesto too)! Mezzetta carries traditional basil pesto as well as sun dried tomato pesto. They are both so flavorful and made with produce picked fresh from the sun drenched soils of California and the Mediterranean Coast. This also saves time when preparing meals during the hectic holiday season- added bonus for us busy moms!
I love our Christmas Eve family dinners, and I cant wait for this years (which I just realized is in exactly TWO WEEKS)! I know well make lots of special memories this holiday season (and eat lots of Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken)!
Whats your favorite holiday memory? Is it decorating the tree? Singing (slightly off-key) Christmas carols? Or do your memories revolve around food (like mine do)? Share your favorite holiday moment with Mezzetta today for your chance to win one of their Daily Holiday Gift Baskets! Entering the contest is easy and there will be a new winner every day through the month of December.
- 4-6 organic chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
- 4 TBS organic, unsalted butter (divided into 2 TBS sections)
- Sprinkle of sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5-6 sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil, drained), diced
- 1 jar of Mezzetta Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 cup of organic chicken broth
- 1 + cup of organic heavy cream
- 4 TBS of Mezzetta Basil Pesto
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400*.
- In a large oven safe saute pan, melt the first 2 TBS of butter on medium heat. Season each chicken thigh with a light rub of sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken skin side down into the melted butter. Sear each side of the chicken for 2-3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for now.
- Return the pan to medium heat and melt the remaining 2 TBS of butter. Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes, stir and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Gently scrape up all of those bits stuck to the bottom of the pan (they are packed with flavor).
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the sun dried tomato pesto followed by 1 cup of the heavy cream. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes, then return the chicken to the pan.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake at 400* for 30-35 minutes (until chicken is fully cooked).
- While the chicken is baking, begin preparing the second pesto sauce. In a small pan over medium heat combine the remaining cup of heavy cream, basil pesto, and feta cheese. Slowly stir and let simmer until the cheese melts and forms a smooth sauce.
- To serve, place the chicken thigh on top of the creamy sun dried tomato pesto sauce and drizzle with the basil and feta pesto sauce. Sprinkle with additional feta. Enjoy!