Today’s guest post is from Donna Sheynfeld, author of The Newlyfed food blog. Donna is a newly-married New York City teacher recently transplanted to Lubbock, Texas for a year. The Newlyfed blog came to fruition during Donna’s quest for healthy eating. She soon realized that so much of the food in the US is complete junk. And, since Lubbock is a fast food and drive thru haven, Donna was committed to paying more attention to what she eats and documenting her journey.
Here’s what Donna has to say:
I have been attempting to become a better food photographer. Who knew there was so much that goes into it? I certainly did not! One of my best friends, Deanna, who lives in Israel, is a food stylist. While, I am hoping for some great tips and lessons the next time we visit her, in the meantime, I have resorted to teaching myself by reading a food photography book that Deanna recommended and articles that I find on the web. Although, my pictures are still far from professional, I have to say, they have come a long way (don’t you think?).
While perusing an article about lighting in food photography, I came across a picture of a fried chicken cutlet stuffed with a green “mystery” sauce. A mystery because there was no mention of what the sauce was. But it looked incredible so I decided I needed to try and create my own version using pesto (I figured it had to be some variation of pesto!). Because I prefer baking to frying I experimented and came up with this Baked Pesto Chicken Cutlet recipe.
My parents happened to be over the day I made this and I invited them to stay for dinner. My dad is very picky about his food, so I was really anxious about serving something that I had never made before. In the end, I decided there was no better person to critique my dish. Luckily, the empty plates and enthusiastic comments all around lead me to believe that this dish is worth making.
Baked Chicken Pesto
- 12 pieces of thinly sliced chicken breast or 6 pieces of chicken breast that you can slice yourself.
- 1 egg
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Pesto (see recipe below)
- 1 Garlic clove, peeled
- 1 Cup of spinach (make sure to push spinach down into cup so there no empty pockets of air while you measure)
- 1 Cup of basil
- 1/2 Cup of olive oil
- Generous amount of salt
- Generous amount of pepper
- Optional: 1 Tablespoon pine nuts
- Wash and dry the basil and spinach. Put garlic, spinach, basil, olive oil and pine nuts (if you are using them) in a food processor. Pulse until liquefied. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse again. Set aside.
Pesto sauce can be saved in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days to 1 week and in freezer for up to 3 months*
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Make pesto, using recipe below. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix egg with salt and pepper.
- Pour breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
- If your chicken is not sliced thinly, slice through the middle, creating two thinner slices of chicken breast. Place two slices of chicken breast side by side. Spoon a generous amount of pesto onto one piece of chicken. Place the other piece of chicken directly on top of the pesto to sandwich the sauce between the slices. Carefully place the chicken in the egg mixture and then transfer to the other plate to coat with the panko bread crumbs. When coated, place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Continue this process with each additional slice until you have 6 pesto chicken cutlets on the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve immediately.