In this video recipe I am showing you how to make some delicious homemade pesto and then putting it to use right away with a gorgeous cheesy pesto chicken bake. You’ll love how simple this is to chuck together, particularly the bake which can literally be made in seconds and ready on the table in under 30 minutes!
For the homemade pesto, toast your nuts in a pan until golden brown, keep the pan moving as it is surprising how quickly they catch! You can do this step in a mortar and pestle or a food processor like me …. simply combine your remaining ingredients – the parmesan, fresh basil and olive oil, whiz or bash away until the texture you want is achieved. Tweak the ingredients quantities to adjust the pesto flavour and texture… feel free to season or add more ingredients as you wish, I added lemon zest and some pepper, but people often add a garlic clove or two, but this is nice and mild with a light lemon twist.
For the bake grease a dish with some butter, add some of the leftover cheese if you have some and sprinkle on top. Spread some pesto on the base to form a lovely bed for the chicken to sit in, the smother the chicken in more pesto.
Bake at gas mark 5 or equivalent for 20 minutes with the foil on, remove and take off foil sprinkle with grated mozzarella and bake again for 5 mins at the the same temperature leaving the foil off to merge that cheese to the pesto chicken. Finish it off under the grill for 5 minutes to brown the cheese, it should be all smelling great, and bubbling away. I served with some rice, but salad would be good as it is quite filling.
You are left with a deliciously moist pesto infused chicken and a gooey cheesy topping, they really complement eachother well – make sure to scoop some of the juice from the bottom of the pan that has mixed with the cheese and pesto.
Give this one a go guys, oh and the homemade pesto lasts for around 2 weeks.