Balsamic Chicken with Pesto Gravy and Bitter Greens

This recipe is one of Rachael’s Top Ten Recipes of 2007!


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bunches arugula, thoroughly washed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese shavings
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought pesto


Heat a large skillet over high heat with a little drizzle of EVOO. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the bottom of a heavy pot or small sauté pan, give each chicken breast a good smack to make them even thinner. Peel back the top layer of plastic wrap and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over top and season with a little salt and pepper.

Transfer the chicken to the hot sauté pan, seasoned side down, and cook on each side for about two minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the arugula, with the juice of half a lemon, a drizzle of EVOO and a little bit of salt in a bowl. Remove chicken from the skillet and reserve on a plate while you make the sauce.

To the sauté pan add butter and melt. Add flour and cook for about a minute or so. Whisk in chicken stock and cream and bring up to a simmer to thicken. Remove from heat and add the pesto to the skillet. Stir to combine. Pour pesto gravy over the chicken and then top with the arugula. With a peeler, shave some Parmigiano Reggiano over the greens, season with a little salt and pepper and toss to coat.  

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