Almond-Apricot Chicken with Mint

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    • 2 ounces goat cheese
    • 4 dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (3 tablespoons)
    • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
    • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Mint Pesto (recipe below)

Mint Pesto Ingredients

    • 3 cups lightly packed fresh mint
    • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Coarse salt

PREPARATION

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut a slit in one side of each chicken breast to create a pocket about 4 inches long.

2. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the almonds with the goat cheese and apricots. Stuff each breast with one quarter of the mixture. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3. On a plate, combine the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Dip each breast into the beaten egg, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

4. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to the oven; bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot with the mint pesto on the side.

To Prepare The Mint Pesto

1. In a food processor, combine the mint and almonds; process until finely chopped.

2. With the motor running, gradually pour the olive oil through the feed tube. Season with salt. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve. Store leftover pesto in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; let it come to room temperature before serving.