We recently hosted a small luncheon that came together rather quickly: read, not much time to plan or prepare. We invited two families; one of whom brought a set of grandparents with them. In addition, our nephew was able to join us at the last minute.
The more, the merrier, to be sure, but what to feed them all? Because this was a weekday luncheon after a religious holiday service, I did not have the usual benefit of time at home before the guests arrived, let alone the luxury of running out to the store at the last minute if necessary. I had to be ready.
This is one of my favorite things to make for a crowd. It's incredibly simple, it's really good, quantity is totally up to you and your supplies, and it can be made the day before. In my case, I grilled the chicken the night before and defrosted the pesto. In the morning, I cubed the cooked chicken, tossed it with the pesto and a little extra olive oil (pesto tends to dry out a bit in the freezer) and voila, main course is done.
I recommend serving it with good bread and a grain salad or side dish, such as taboule, couscous or rice.
Pesto Chicken Salad
skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1. Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Grill (I use a grill pan on the stove) or roast the chicken breasts until done; let cool.
3. Cube the chicken into bite size pieces; toss with a generous amount of pesto.
4. Refrigerate until about half an hour to an hour before serving.
5. Can be prepared the day before.