Arugula Pesto Chicken

I do not consider myself a foodie.  But I love food.  I really love to cook, but I hate following recipes.  I do, however, like to find new and interesting ideas, giving them my own spin.

One day after picking up the produce we get each week with our CSA I was faced with this dilemma:  what do I do with fifteen million pounds of arugula?  Okay, not really fifteen million, but a lot.  And this was the third week in a row.  Don’t get me wrong, I love arugula.  Its peppery goodness can really spice up a salad or a pizza.  But I needed a little inspiration.

So, I turned on the Food Network.  It just so happened that the show Guy’s Big Bite was on, and what was he making, but an arugula pesto chicken.  Since chicken is on the menu pretty much every night, I decided to give it a try.

I didn’t follow the recipe.   Partly because well, I just don’t do that.  But also because I didn’t have the ingredients… or the time to go to the store to buy them.  Check out his recipe if you want to try what Guy made.

For my pesto, I used arugula, toasted almonds, lemon juice, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.

Did I mention that I tend to not measure things?  Ever?

I toasted a bunch of almonds in the toaster oven.

I slightly chopped two ginormous cloves of garlic.

I filled the rest of the food processor with arugula.  I have a smaller food processor and was only making three leg/thigh pieces of chicken — use more if you need to.

I juiced half of a lemon, then added a bunch of olive oil.

So pretty!!  After I pulsed the food processor a bit, I ended up adding more arugula, olive oil, and a bit of salt.

Yummy!

Then, I took the pesto and (thanks to Guy’s brilliance) stuffed it under the skin of my chicken leg/thigh quarters. (If you prefer boneless/skinless chicken, try stuffing this inside the chicken instead)  I put a little bit of butter on each piece of chicken (to make the skin crispy).  Then I baked it at 375 for 45 min.  I was also roasting veggies, so I moved the chicken to the lower rack after 45 min., turned the oven up to 400, and baked for another 15.  After that, I let the chicken rest under foil while I broiled the veggies for a few minutes.  **I have no before/after picture of the chicken because well, who wants to see a picture of raw chicken?  (Not me!)  And who can take an after picture of beautifully cooked chicken while also feeding entertaining a nine-month-old and almost three-year-old?  They don’t understand “Just a second, Mommy’s going to take a picture of this food, so I can blog about it later.”

This was a big hit in our house.  I definitely recommend trying it – or some variation of your own.  Because I wouldn’t be me if I told you to follow what I did exactly.

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