Caprese Chicken Casserole with Pesto

What to do with my Red Gold winnings??? i decided to combine two of my favorite things. Casserole and Caprese Salad. I wasn't sure how this casserole was going to turn out because it was a little on the fly. However, I was pleasantly surprised and it was great! This is a really easy dish to make, and it is unique enough to intrigue any guests you invite for dinner. Enjoy!
3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup quick cook brown rice
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
2 1/2 Tbl flour (I use gluten free)
Salt & Pepper

Pesto Sauce
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, halved

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil chicken thighs in water till cooked through. Remove chicken from water. Shred and set aside.

Saute onions in butter and olive oil till the onions are tender. Add garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add flour to onions and garlic. Makes sure to stir immediately so the flour doesn't burn. Add chicken stock a 1/2 cup at a time to onions stirring as you add the stock. Add chicken and cheese to onions. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients together. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add rice and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped basil. Spoon mixture into a 9X9 baking dish. Bake casserole 30-35 minutes till hot and bubbly.

While casserole is baking, add pesto ingredients except olive oil to a food processor. While ingredients are blending, slowly pour in olive oil.

Top casserole with pesto sauce and enjoy!

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