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Pesto-Presto Italian Flag Chicken


  • 5-6 leaves basil

  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (about a handful)

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

  • 1 block soft garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin brand

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 2 handfuls), divided

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced


Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, soft cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful) and some salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste. Reserve. Butterfly each of the chicken breasts and pound them out lightly in a plastic bag with a dash of water using a skillet or meat mallet. Season both sides of the chicken and divide the herb-cheese mixture between the four breasts, placing a scoop on one half of each breast. Fold the flap of chicken over to enclose the cheese mixture. Transfer the chicken pockets to a baking sheet and lay three slices of tomato over each breast, overlapping them like shingles. Season with some salt and pepper, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about a handful).

Bake the chicken pockets until cooked through and light golden brown, 20-25 minutes.  This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to