- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 large eggs
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 8 cups cubed Italian bread
- Additional chopped fresh basil leaves
- Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain.
- In a large bowl, mix basil, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, pine nuts and garlic. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk and remaining oil, salt and pepper.
- In a greased 13x9-in. baking dish, layer half of the bread cubes, a third of the cheese mixture and half of the chicken. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Pour egg mixture over top; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Remove strata from refrigerator while oven heats. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional basil. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Pesto Chicken Strata in Breakfast & Brunch Bookazine 2014, p45
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