Oh man, sorry it’s been so long! My poor computer was finally just about dead. But, I’m happy to report, the old beast has finally been replaced! (YAY!!) This computer is badass, and has enough food picture storage to last a good long time.
Anyway… Zucchini noodles and pesto marinated chicken with a creamy coconut pesto sauce. This is really a comforting meal, with a nice creamy sauce paired with flavorful marinated chicken and the long zucchini noodles. The pesto is made with no cheese, and the creamy aspect of the sauce is all coconut milk, so it’s very gentle on the ol’ gut as well.
I apparently got side tracked during the cooking process. The pictures aren’t as thorough as they normally would be. Which might not be terrible, but whatever 🙂
This is a bit of a list, but it’s totally worth it in the end!
– A couple pounds of boneless chicken. Boobies were on sale, so I went with that. Thighs would also be awesome here.
– A good big bunch of basil. I had way less than I thought, so I actually used some of the stems as well which isn’t ideal, but hey, it worked!
– Handful of cashew nuts. Pine nuts are fine, and I’m thinking most other nuts would work well here too. Just use what ya gots.
– Lots of garlic. I ended up with 4 good sized cloves. This can be adjusted of course.
– Olive Oil
– Chicken broth
– 1 can of coconut milk
– Red pepper flakes
– 4 good sized zucchini. (only two are pictured… the board was too crammed with 4 on there)
– Plate for raw chicken
– Lipped baking sheet
– Vegetable julienner
– Frying pan
– (not pictured) a bowl or storage container for pesto.
– (ALSO not pictured… WTF me??) A saucepan.
Start off by throwing the basil in the blender…
With a handful of cashews…
And the garlic cloves, which have been rough chopped.
Throw the top on the blender and set it going, and start drizzling some olive oil in the top. Check the texture every now and then, and keep drizzling the oil in.
Until it’s a nice liquidy creamy texture. Salt the pesto and give it another blitz to mix the salt in.
Throw the pesto in a storage container or a bowl.
I hate all the waste that is left in the bottom of the blender. So, I added a few glugs of chicken broth to the bowl of the blender, and blended for a couple seconds to let the leftovers in the blender bowl nice and liquidy.
Nice and liquid…
I got every last bit in the bottom!
Just pour the pesto with the broth right in with the regular pesto, and mix it up.
Put the chicken breasts on a plate…
And dump the pesto over it. NOW!! Don’t let anything that touch the chicken get into the the pesto container. Cross contamination makes me sad.
Spread the pesto all over the chicken. Cover it up, and stick it in the fridge. This can just be forgotten about for a while. I would say at least overnight, but I’ve done it in as few as a couple hours. The chicken will just taste better the longer that pesto has to marinate.
When the chicken is ready, throw it on a baking sheet, and stick it into a 350 degree oven, until the juices run clear. I actually find that I like to cut a small hole into the chicken to make EXTRA sure it is done, because I’m paranoid.
See, the leftmost one has a small hole so that I could take a peek at the middle to make sure it is done.
While the chicken is cooking, it’s sauce time. Take a can of coconut milk and dump it into a saucepan. Add some red pepper flakes. (To be honest, I threw mine into my spice grinder for a second. I didn’t want any huge clumps of red pepper flake. They could be omitted all together if needed.)
Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth…
Combine, and set over lowish heat to start letting those flavors get happy, and to reduce the sauce base a touch.
For this particular recipe, only half the sauce base is needed. I have half the batch in the freezer, just to see how it goes freezing it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Pour the sauce base back in the pan after cutting it in half. Add the pesto and combine. Let it cook for a few minutes to thicken and let all the flavors come together. This also cooks the garlic a bit, and mellows out that flavor a touch. I forgot to take a picture of the finished sauce because I’m a ridiculous person. Also, everything smelled so good at this point and my tummy was rumbling.
Once the chicken is out of the oven, and the sauce is made and reducing and getting happy, make the zucchini noodles with the vegetable julienner.
Heat up a pan with some olive oil, and once hot, add the zucchini to the pan and let it get a head start cooking. (By the way, I did this in two batches, as I was afraid the noodles would get over crowded. If you have a giant, pan, just do it in one batch.)
After a couple minutes, add some of the pesto sauce to the pan, and stir it in…
and let it cook for a couple more minutes, until the noodles are soft, but not mushy. Throw the noodles on a plate, slice some chicken and put that on top, and then drizzle more of the pesto sauce over the chicken. Yum, yum, yum!!