Taste the Air-Chilled Difference®

Chicken Breasts With Pistachio Pistou

by , Chef, Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri

Chicken Breasts With Pistachio Pistou

Serves 4

Good-quality chicken like Smart Chicken has so much natural flavor that you really don’t need to do much to make it into a great dish!

    • Pistou
    • 1¼ cups chicken stock, chilled
    • ½ cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and chilled
    • 1½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in one chunk, chilled
    • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped and chilled
    • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped and chilled
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
    • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • ½ cup fresh oregano
    • ½ cup ice cubes
    • Vegetables
    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
    • 2 cups assorted diced summer squash
    • 2 cups assorted peeled and diced carrots
    • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    • Chicken
    • 4 boneless, skinless Smart Chicken breasts
    • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
    • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
    • 1 lemon, quartered, for serving
    • Thyme blossoms, for garnish

    For The Pistou:

    Before you begin, make sure all of the ingredients for the pistou are cold. In a blender, combine the stock, pistachios, cheese, garlic, shallot, basil, parsley, and oregano and puree until smooth. With the blender running, add the ice cubes one at a time. Transfer the pistou to a container and keep chilled until ready to serve.

    For The Vegetables:

    Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and sauté until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add the fennel, squash, and carrots and continue to cook for 2 more minutes just to soften them—you don’t want them to develop much color on the surface. Remove the pan from the heat and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Keep the vegetables warm until ready to serve.

    For The Chicken:

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel and season them on both sides with salt and pepper.

    Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2 minutes to develop a light golden color. If the chicken is browning too quickly, turn the heat down to medium-high. Flip the breasts over and cook for another minute.

    Turn the breasts back over, transfer the skillet to the preheated oven, and cook the chicken for another 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

    Return the skillet with the chicken to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the butter, shallot, thyme, garlic, and oregano. When the butter has melted, turn off the heat. Carefully tilt the skillet slightly toward you and spoon the hot butter over the breasts, basting them for about 1½ minutes. Remove the chicken from the heat.

    To Serve:

    Heat the pistou in a small saucepan over low heat. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

    Slice the chicken breasts in half widthwise and serve two halves (or a whole breast) per person. Pour about ¼ cup pistou into each of 4 shallow bowls. Divide the vegetables among the bowls, mounding them in the center. Top the vegetables with a halved chicken breast. Squeeze a dash of fresh lemon juice over the chicken and garnish the plate with thyme blossoms. Serve immediately.