#QuarantineCookbook: Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Even while stuck at home because of the quarantine, I’m still a busy working mom. The demands of my job often precludes me from spending too much time in the kitchen.

This means that I rarely get enough time to devote to discovery and exploration of culinary possibilities to expand my family’s menu beyond the usual staples or to make dishes and ingredients from scratch.

This is why I’m so glad that I have a jar of The Saucier Homemade Classic Pesto in my ref.

In case you’re wondering, a saucier, also known as the saute chef, prepares the sauces, stews and the hot hors d’oeuvres as well as sautes food to order.

With The Saucier’s homemade and preservatives-free sauces and dressings in my cooking arsenal, it’s like I have my own saucier right in my kitchen. Coming up with an extraordinary home-cooked meal is so much easier when half the work is already done.

The Saucier

For our dinner last night, I made a new fam favorite: Creamy Pesto Chicken. Check it out!

Ingredients:

  • Half-kilo of boneless chicken thigh fillets (I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts as these tend to be juicier and more flavorful. Fortunately, I can get a pack of boneless filleted thighs at Landers.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 tbsp The Saucier Homemade Classic Pesto
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Procedure:

Rub the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and pesto sauce.

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Prepare the sauce by whisking together the flour, garlic, pesto sauce and evaporated milk. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and mix well.

Heat the olive oil in non-stick pan then fry the chicken pieces for up to five minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. Set aside.

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

In the same pan, cook the cherry tomatoes in medium to high heat for up to a minute or until they begin to soften.

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Add the sauce mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil.

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Place the cooked chicken back into the pan and cook for up to three minutes until heated through and well-coated by the sauce, then remove from heat.

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Serve your Creamy Peato Chickeb with pasta, rice, or in my fam’s case, some sliced Ciabatta and Special Dip from Chef Jessie which really strengthened our meal’s Italian flair.

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

Once again, my foray into the kitchen has yielded a hit with the fam!

Try this recipe out and let me know how it goes!

For more details or to get your hands on The Saucier’s sauces and dressings, as well as its tasty Mushroom Burger, visit The Saucier on Facebook or call +63 2 76233600, +63 2 79015526 or +63 917 8870125.

The Saucier

Looking for other easy-to-cook dishes to try out while in quarantine? Check out my other kitchen adventures:

#QuarantineCookbook: Banana Loaf Three Ways

It sure looks like the quarantine has turned me into some kind of maven in the kitchen (if I may say so myself; indulge me, please).

With a little bit of extra time that working from home afforded to me, as well as the greater availability of ingredients from online sellers, I found myself getting bitten again by the baking bug.

I decided to try my hand on an old favorite: the Banana Loaf. It’s a simple enough recipe and the ingredients are easily accessible.

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

It’s also great as a mid-afternoon snack or an after-meal dessert.

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

Here’s the twist, though: my kiddos and I have varying preferences when it comes to the Banana Loaf. I love it with nuts (for the contrast in texture), while my daughter #ExhibitA prefers it without; my son #ExhibitB, a sweet-tooth just like his mom, would go bonkers for it if it has chocolate.

What’s a budding baker mom to do?

Well, why not have it three ways? I made a plain Banana Loaf, two loaves with nuts, and a loaf with nuts and chocolate. This way, everybody’s happy (especially me, because I get two loaves, hehehe!).

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 ripe mashed bananas
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk substitute (made by combining 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar with enough fresh milk to make 1 1/2 cups of the mixture)
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 135 deg C (275 deg F). Line four 8″x 3″ loaf pans with wax paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides.

In a small bowl, combine the mashed bananas with the lemon juice. In another bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set both bowls aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, white and brown sugar in a large bowl for three minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla.

Mix in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk substitute until evenly combined. Stir in the mashed banana mixture.

Scoop enough of the batter to the first loaf pan to fill it two-thirds of the way. This will be the plain Banana Loaf.

Fold in the chopped walnuts in to the batter until evenly distributed then scoop enough of the mixture to fill two-thirds of the next two loaf pans. These will be the Banana Loaf with Walnuts.

Fold in the dark chocolate chips into the remaining batter then scoop it into the last loaf pan. This will be the Chocolate Walnut Banana Loaf.

Place the loaf pans into the pre-heated oven and bake for sixty to eighty-five minutes (depending on your oven) or until a toothpick you insert into the middle of the loaves comes out clean.

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

As soon as fully baked, remove the loaf pans from the oven and place them directly into the freezer for forty-five minutes. Doing this will add to the moist texture of the loaves. (I’m not familiar with the exact science behind this but I can’t argue with the results).

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

Serve and enjoy!

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

The loaves turned out to have just the right amount of moistness and are not overly sweet.

As it turns out, even #ExhibitA likes the loaf with the chocolate chips. Hmmm…

PS:

If you want to add some more sweetness to the loaves, you can top them with some cream cheese frosting, similar to the one used for my Carrot Cupcakes.

You may also adjust the amount of walnuts or chocolate chips you add into the banana loaf batter for the second loaf pan and so on, or the sequence of adding the tweak ingredients, depending on your family’s preferences (and whose preference reigns supreme!).

Banana Loaf Three Ways (beingjellybeans.com)

Try this recipe out and let me know how it goes!

Looking for other easy-to-cook dishes to try out while in quarantine? Check out my other kitchen adventures:

#QuarantineCookbook: Bulalo Steak from Leftovers

Hmm… What to do with leftover Bulalo? Make a Bulalo Steak with it!

Anybody who knows me is aware that almost nothing gets my hackles up than wasting food.

That’s why when Hubby (again!) flexed his culinary muscles to bring about some steaming-hot Bulalo for our family’s lunch and had a lot of leftovers – whick included meat, potatoes and broth – I just had to find a way to finish off all that food within the day.

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

(Note, though, that the leftovers resulted from his overestimation on the fam’s capacity to devour two kilograms of meaty beef shanks, despite how yummy the resulting dish was. )

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Well, thanks to the leftovers, the Bulalo Steak for the fam’s dinner was quite easy to whip up using ingredients which were already on-hand.

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Ingredients:

(Leftover from the Bulalo)
1 kilo cooked beef shanks, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
2 cups of cubed boiled potatoes
1 1/2 cups Bulalo broth, strained

(Additional Vegetables)
1 bunch of French beans (could be substituted with Baguio beans)
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips

(Additional ingredients for the sauce)
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sliced Champignon mushrooms
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp liquid seasoning

Procedure:

Re-heat the cooked beef shanks by placing them in a baking dish and into a 200 dec C oven for twenty minutes.

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

In a saucepan over low heat, melt four tablespoons butter, then add the flour, mixing to form a paste. Add in the milk and broth, mixing to avoid lumps until it thickens to your desired consistency, then add in the mushrooms. Add more beef broth little by little if you want to thin it down.

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Parboil the French beans and the carrot strips before sauteing them along with the boiled potatoes in two tablespoons butter. After sauteing, arrange them in the baking dish with the reheated beef shanks.

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Pour the sauce over the beef shanks and buttered vegetables. Serve immediately. It is best enjoyed with lots of steamed rice.

This recipe serves five, with 530 calories per serving.

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

Bulalo Steak Recipe (beingjellybeans.com)

If you want to make this dish but don’t have leftover Bulalo, you can boil up to 2 kilos of beef shanks (with enough water to fully over the meat) in a large pot for up to 2 hours or until tender. Or you can cook them in a pressure cooker for up to an hour. Be sure to save the resulting broth.

Also, if you happen to have a sizzling plate, you can make this dish a Sizzling Bulalo Steak. Arrange the cooked solid ingredients on a heated sizzling plate then pour the sauce over them until it sizzles.

Looking for other easy-to-cook dishes to try out while in quarantine? Check out my other recipes: