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Pesto Chicken Capons with Sundried Tomato Potato Stuffing


One of my favorite dishes at a local Brooklyn pizza spot is called Pizza De Nonna. It’s got pesto and marinara sauce, an outrageous combination. Pesto and tomatoes are a match made in heaven, and this recipe is no different. You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own sundried tomatoes and pesto — both healthy and flavorful Pesach staples that you can use in a variety of ways.


Sundried Tomatoes


Cut the tomatoes in half and place, cut side up, on a Gefen Parchment Paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and herbs (if desired), and bake at 250°F (130°C) for about two hours until tomatoes are dried and shriveled, but not browned.


Store extra tomatoes in a sterilized, airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. You may also store in olive oil (in the fridge), with your favorite herbs and spices.


You may use larger tomatoes such as cherry or plum but the drying time will be considerably longer.

For the Pesto


Place the toasted almonds (see note) in the food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Remove 1/4 cup of the almond meal and set aside. 


Add spinach, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to the food processor and puree while slowly adding the olive oil through the feeding tube. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. 


To toast the almonds, place in a dry pan and roast at 400° F (205°C) until lightly browned and fragrant.


Store leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze individual portions in an ice cube tray.

Assemble and Bake


Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain well. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash over low heat to absorb excess moisture. 


Add sundried tomatoes, garlic, stock, and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.


Fill each capon with about 1/3 cup of the mashed potato filling and fold over to close. Stick toothpicks at each end of the capon to hold its shape and place in a baking dish.


Brush the capons with pesto and sprinkle with reserved almond meal. Bake at 400°F (205°C), uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes. Serve warm.


You may use bone-in chicken quarters instead and stuff the mashed potato filling under the chicken skin. Bake uncovered at 400°F (205°C), for approximately one hour. You can also experiment with different leafy greens or herbs and nuts for other pesto flavors.


Photography: Hudi Greenberger.

Food Styling: Renee Muller.