Chicken / Dinner

Balsamic chicken with pesto gravy and a basic green salad

I’ve been so focused on reading real food and clean eating blogs lately that I’ve neglected the cookbooks I’ve collected over the last few years.  I pulled out a Rachael Ray cookbook – Just in time! – and almost put it away because there were no pictures.  Seriously, I like to see how my food is supposed to look.  As it happened, I’d been looking for a pesto chicken dish; this recipe caught my eye and, as a result, the cookbook will stay in my cupboard to be pulled out another day.IMG_3202

Her recipe says it only takes 15 minutes start to finish but she must have someone pre-measure, pre-cut, and prepare everything for her.  It took me closer to 30 minutes.  However, I ended up with a fancy looking dinner so I was happy. My parents were over for dinner so I can vouch that ages 4-63 approved of the flavors!


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 6 c arugula or spring greens
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • .33 c heavy cream
  • .25 c pesto (luckily, Julie gave me some of the pesto she’d made from her basil harvest this summer)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings


  • In a bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
  • Add the chicken, cook on both sides until cooked through.
  • While the chicken is cooking, in a large bowl, combine the arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Remove the chicken.
  • Add the butter to the skillet.  Once it has melted, add the flour.  Whisk in the chicken broth and cream.  Bring to a simmer to thicken.  Remove from heat and stir in the pesto.
  • Slice the chicken.
  • Plate your food.  Chicken first and then top with gravy.  Throw a handful of salad on the side.  Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken and greens.  I served our dinner with mandarin oranges and cheddar-garlic bread from Great Harvest Bread Co.

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