Saturday, December 17, 2016

Easy One-Dish Chicken, Asparagus, Pesto, Tomato and Cheese


I have to admit I've seen this combination with and without the Asparagus several times. Sometimes it's all wrapped in parchment paper. Others time it's just layered in a 9 x 13 pan.  I needed a quick and easy dish for Sunday dinner and a movie night as we were going out to the theatre mid-afternoon, so decided to give it a go.

As I wanted an all in one meal for four, I chose to layer and cook it on a cookie sheet.  If you don't want to ruin the finish on your baking sheet, line it with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Then spray with Pam or oil so nothing sticks.

This was quick and easy and had lots of flavour. The combinations of vegetables and seasonings you can explore with this technique are endless, so be sure and throw caution to the wind and be brave. You may invent your family's next favourite dish.  One of my sons is picky about his vegetables. He won't each broccoli and cauliflower, but likes asparagus - go figure. So that's the direction I took.  I think homemade pesto is better, but had no time to make it. Store bought filled in just fine. I also loved the fact you could adjust this to serve any number of people. I could have done 3, 5 or 6 with little effort.



Easy One-Dish Chicken, Asparagus, Pesto, Tomato and Cheese
4 Servings

4              Four Large Free Range Chicken Breasts
2              Bunches Fresh Asparagus
1              Jar pre-made pesto or one recipe of homemade pesto
1-2          Tomatoes, depending on the size, thinly sliced
Grated or Sliced Cheese - your favourite kind 
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare asparagus by breaking off tough lower stems, washing and drying.  Spread evenly on a prepared baking sheet (line with foil or parchment, then spray or oil to prevent sticking).  Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the 4 chicken breasts on top of the asparagus and spread each with a layer of pesto (I like a thick layer, but up to you). Place thinly sliced tomatoes on top, salt and pepper to taste, then cover with aluminum foil.  Bake until chicken is done. This will vary depending on the size of the chicken breast, but around 40-45 minutes on the average.

Uncover and top with your favourite cheese. I have seen some recipes use Mozzarella and other options, but I prefer Asiago as it paired well with the pesto.  Pop back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.  Serve with your favourite green salad and warm bread. 

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