Fennel-Almond Pesto with Seared Chicken
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup cubed aged pecorino cheese (1 ounce)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, quartered
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 5 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
In small bowl, pour hot water over fennel seeds. Let stand 10 minutes; drain through fine mesh sieve.
Place cheese in food processor; pulse 5 times. Process continuously until finely ground (10-12 seconds); transfer to bowl. Add almonds and fennel seeds to processor; pulse 5 times. Transfer to bowl with cheese. Add garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt to processor; pulse 5 times. Add fennel, parsley, ¼ teaspoon pepper, lemon peel and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, process until coarsely chopped. Pour in remaining olive oil and reserved cheese mixture; pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed.
In large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt and pepper; arrange chicken in skillet. Cook 5 minutes; turn and cook until meat thermometer reaches 165 F (5-6 minutes). Drizzle remaining lemon juice over chicken. Spoon 2 tablespoons fennel pesto over each breast; cover and cook 1-2 minutes.
Amount: 4 servings
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