A perfect weekday recipe made with fresh basil leaves, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and of course my customary spice, in this case its cumin seeds and paprika.
This Pesto Chicken recipe requires hardly any time to make, I made it in the slow cooker but you can easily roast it or grill it (broil) in the oven.
What is Pesto Sauce
A classic Italian pesto sauce recipe is made of basil, pine nuts, hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and of course garlic and olive oil. What is great about pesto is that by using the basic form of ingredients like seeds, herbs, garlic and olive oil you can actually make your own flavoured pesto sauce condiments galore.
Perhaps to the horror or complete amusement to my Italian friends, I find it quite similar to Indian spice mixes whereby using different kinds of spices, aromatic and oil one can create their own unique dish. Which is how you can make your own flavoured pesto sauces.
What I love about these quick 5 ingredient sauces is that they are easy to make. Besides the versatility of its use with pasta, meat, fish or veg.
A Spicy Twist to Pesto Chicken Recipe
For this particular recipe, I have used additional spices such as cumin seeds and paprika for that hot kick. You can of course omit it if you so wish.
Pesto Sauce Ingredients – Combination for you to try
During our trips to Italy I bought jars of different flavoured pesto blends. That made me think and put the experimental cooking gown on and try few combinations at home.
So using the basic form of Ingredients I tried few different combinations. I have listed few below for you to try, keeping garlic as a fixed favourite (as I looooveeeee my garlic). Its simply a list of ingredients for you to experiment with and make your own combinations.
- Chicken Pieces with bone - 500 grams
- Capsicum, sliced (optional) - 1
- Salt to taste
- Basil leaves - a large handful
- Pine nuts - 2 tbsp
- Sundried tomatoes - 3 pieces
- Garlic - 5 pods
- Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- Paprika - 1 tsp
- Olive oil - 6 tsp
- In a blender add all the pesto ingredients that is garlic, basil leaves, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, cumin seeds, paprika, olive oil and salt and make it into a semi course paste
- How add the pesto sauce paste to the cleaned chicken pieces.
- Mix the sauce well into the chicken and cook on high for 4 hours
- An hour before turning it off, add the sliced capsicum pieces and cook for remaining one hour.
- Pre heat oven to 180°C .
- Rub the sauce well into the chicken. Cover with aluminium foil and cook for 40 - 50 mins.
- If you do not like the chicken to be too saucy, you can remove the foil and grill it for 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve with boiled rice, pasta or any whole grain.