BONNIE S. BENWICK • THE WASHINGTON POST
The greenness and lightness of this dish make it so right for spring, says London-based author Diana Henry, who included it in her most recent cookbook.
For this recipe, use moderately sized chicken breasts; large ones won't cook through in time. Serve with new potatoes.
Lemon and pistachio chicken
2 shallots (about 3 ounces total)
2 cloves garlic Leaves from 2 stems thyme
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup shelled, roasted, unsalted pistachios
1 slice rustic country bread Handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
Pinch sugar, preferably superfine Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 pounds total)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have at hand a large roasting pan that can handle direct stove-top heat.
Mince the shallot and garlic. Combine the shallot, garlic, half of the thyme and 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a medium nonstick skillet. Cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallot and garlic have softened a bit.
Meanwhile, grate the zest of the lemons directly into a mixing bowl, then squeeze the juice into the bowl. Pulse the pistachios, bread (tearing it into pieces as you work) and parsley in a food processor, or coarsely chop them all together.
Transfer the pistachio mixture to the bowl with the lemon zest and juice, along with the 2 tablespoons of oil, the sugar, a good pinch each of salt and pepper, and the shallot-garlic mixture. Stir to form a coarse paste; it should be fairly stiff, but if it seems too dry, drizzle in a bit more oil.
Place the point of a chef's knife into the thicker side of a chicken breast; cut along the length (not all the way through to the bone) to create a cavity for the filling. Repeat with the other pieces of chicken. Fill each cavity with the pistachio-lemon mixture, squeezing the flesh together to keep the filling from falling out. Arrange the stuffed chicken breasts in a single layer in the roasting pan; drizzle them with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. (If there is leftover stuffing, mound it beneath a few of the chicken breasts.) Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the pan from front to back halfway through.
Transfer the breasts to a platter; pour off the fat from the roasting pan, then place the pan over medium heat. Pour in the vinegar and broth; once the mixture starts to bubble, stir in the remaining thyme and butter; cook for a few minutes or just until slightly thickened.
Pour over the chicken; serve right away, including any stuffing mixture that baked in the pan.
Nutritional information per serving: 670 calories, 65 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 40 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 195 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar