Basil Pesto Chicken with Summer Vegetable Panzanella

Basil Pesto Chicken

with Summer Vegetable Panzanella

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight, a fresh, simple pesto accompanies pan-seared chicken. We’re stirring chopped basil together with olive oil, parmesan, and garlic to create this classic Italian sauce. As for our side, we’re making a panzanella—or Tuscan bread salad—by tossing sautéed summer squash, peas, and islander pepper with croutons and capers in a bright, creamy lemon dressing.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    610 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon mayonnaise:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon mayonnaise:

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the bread. Shell the peas. Medium dice the squash. Cut off and discard the stem end of the islander pepper. Halve lengthwise, then remove and discard the ribs and seeds; thinly slice lengthwise. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Roughly chop the almonds. Roughly chop the piquante peppers. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the croutons:
2 Make the croutons:

Place the bread on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Toast in the oven, stirring halfway through, 11 to 13 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven. Set aside to cool.

Cook the vegetables:
3 Cook the vegetables:

While the bread toasts, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ¼ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Add the squash and islander pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Transfer to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Make the pesto:
4 Make the pesto:

While the vegetables cook, pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the leaves; place in a bowl. Add the cheese and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the chicken cooks, to the bowl of cooked vegetables, add the croutons, almonds, piquante peppers, capers, lemon mayonnaise, and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Divide the sliced chicken and salad among 4 dishes. Garnish the chicken with the pesto. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon mayonnaise:

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the bread. Shell the peas. Medium dice the squash. Cut off and discard the stem end of the islander pepper. Halve lengthwise, then remove and discard the ribs and seeds; thinly slice lengthwise. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Roughly chop the almonds. Roughly chop the piquante peppers. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the juice of all 4 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Make the croutons:

Place the bread on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Toast in the oven, stirring halfway through, 11 to 13 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven. Set aside to cool.

Make the croutons:
Cook the vegetables:
3 Cook the vegetables:

While the bread toasts, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ¼ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Add the squash and islander pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Transfer to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

4 Make the pesto:

While the vegetables cook, pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the leaves; place in a bowl. Add the cheese and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the pesto:
Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the chicken cooks, to the bowl of cooked vegetables, add the croutons, almonds, piquante peppers, capers, lemon mayonnaise, and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Divide the sliced chicken and salad among 4 dishes. Garnish the chicken with the pesto. Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your dish:
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