Wicked Chicken
By :Jeffrey Eisner
Being an avid theatergoer, I pined for visiting my beloved Broadway during the year-and-a-half pandemic shutdown. And so listening to show tunes all day had to suffice. I don’t think I need to tell you “witch” iconic character inspired this one, but it’s safe to say that this smooth, pesto-kissed sauce adorned with greens may have you defying gravity once you try it. Serve it over a bed of pasta, zoodles, rice, veggies, or just on its own.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour with a few dashes of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder whisked in
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced into 1/4-inch-thick cutlets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salted butter 1⁄4 stick
  • 1 lb baby bella or white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5-8 oz baby spinach
  • 1 brick cream cheese cut into 8 cubes (for easy melding), 8-ounce
  • 1 cup pesto see Jeff’s Tips
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 oz frozen peas crumbled optional
  • feta for serving (optional)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour with a few dashes of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder whisked in
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced into 1/4-inch-thick cutlets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salted butter 1⁄4 stick
  • 1 lb baby bella or white mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5-8 oz baby spinach
  • 1 brick cream cheese cut into 8 cubes (for easy melding), 8-ounce
  • 1 cup pesto see Jeff’s Tips
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 oz frozen peas crumbled optional
  • feta for serving (optional)
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Put the flour mixture on a large plate. Dredge (coat) the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture on both sides so they’re fully and lightly dusted.
  2. Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté, and Adjust to the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add the chicken in batches and sear on each side for 1 minute, until lightly browned. Use tongs to transfer the seared chicken to a plate to rest. Repeat until all the chicken is seared.
  3. Add the butter to the pot. Once melted, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, for about 3 minutes, until softened and cooked down.
  4. Add the broth and return the chicken to the pot, resting the cutlets on top of the mushrooms and broth in a crisscross fashion. Top with the spinach. Secure the lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Hit Cancel and then hit Pressure Cook or Manual on High Pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release when done.
  5. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Hit Cancel and then hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. Once it begins to bubble, stir in the cream cheese, pesto, Parmesan, and frozen peas (if using). Don’t worry about them being frozen. The heat of the sauce will thaw them immediately. Once the cream cheese is melded into the sauce, hit Cancel to turn the pot off.
  6. Drape the sauce over the chicken in the serving dish and top with crumbled feta (if using).
Recipe Notes

Lighter comforts: To make this dish gluten-free, use quinoa or coconut flour instead of all-purpose when dredging the chicken. Using coconut flour and omitting the peas will make it keto-friendly.

JEFF’S TIP: For a thicker sauce: Just after melding the cream cheese into the sauce in Step 5, mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a slurry. Add to the pot and immediately stir for 30 seconds, then hit Cancel to turn the pot off. The sauce will thicken nicely.

For the pesto, if you want to save time and use store-bought, Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand pesto is by far my favorite. But if you want to make your own (like I love to do), add the following to a food processor and pulse until pureed:

• 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

• 3 cloves garlic, crushed

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/4 cup pine nuts