Monday, April 22, 2013

pesto chicken stuffed portobello mushrooms

Confession. I never get tired of pesto. I put it on my breakfast eggs (or toast if I'm feeling extra naughty). I throw it on lettuce and call it a salad. And, because it's herb-based, it tastes good with fish, red meat, and lean meats alike.

More often than I'd like to admit, I crave homemade fettuccine with pesto and chicken. It's one of the most satisfying cheat meals ever.. until I start feeling like crap from scarfing down all that gluten. Really, I do. It's a love/hate relationship.

Luckily, I love mushrooms. For a vegetable, mushrooms are so meaty and hearty. So, instead of making pasta with pesto, chicken, and mushrooms. I decided to cut out the middle man-- the pasta-- to save myself from gluten misery.

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
yields 6-8 stuffed mushrooms

6-8 Portobello stuffing mushrooms (mine were on the smaller side, so about 8)
1 tsp olive oil + extra for brushing
1/2 c. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken breast, largely diced (I use a skinless breast of a whole-roasted chicken)
1/2 c. pesto (store-bought or homemade-- it's always best to use your favorite)
5-6 black olives, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare mushrooms. Wipe them clean with a damp cloth. Mushrooms drink in water very easily, so it's best not to wash them directly under water. You want them as dry as possible. Then, with a spoon or sharp knife, remove the stem and gills from each mushroom cap. Lightly brush each Portobello with olive oil and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
2. While mushrooms are baking, prepare the pesto chicken filling. In a small skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally. Once onions are softened, stir in garlic. Allow the garlic to cook a bit-- about 2 or 3 more minutes. Finally add chicken, pesto, and salt and pepper to taste. 
3 Stuff the Portobellos. Use a spoon to fill hollowed mushroom cap with pesto chicken. Add chopped olives on top. Pop the stuffed Portobellos back into the oven for about 2 more minutes. Then they are ready to eat!

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