Grilled Pesto Chicken Recipe
Pesto.. A simple blend of the raw ingredients.. Just a touch of it makes everything tastes better; sometimes saves us from the bad cooking days and embarrassments. Almost like a secret agent of the kitchen. Just there to save our day. There are already dozens of recipes to use pesto and this recipe is another way of doing it. Because of the simplicity in ingredients and richness in taste, this Italian recipe is the perfect dish for the summer holiday get–togethers. You will be pleased to know that it takes only 15 minutes to prepare it.
3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts(halved)
½ cup Basil pesto(homemade or store bought)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper(optional)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper(optional)
If you have extra 5 minutes on your hand make your own pesto. Homemade pesto makes it a lot tastier than the store bought variety. Start with roasting the pine nuts. Or you can use walnuts too.
Take 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, roasted pine nuts, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender and blend it roughly.
Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to this mix and blend it again to get the desired consistency. Transfer it to a bowl; sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of pepper on top of it. Use it immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 days, covered.
Clean the chicken breasts with water thoroughly; pat it to dry with paper towel. Cut each breast into 2 halves, lengthwise.
Put the chicken pieces in a bowl; rub ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper all over the chicken.
Add 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar to ½ cup of basil pesto in another bowl; pour it over the chicken. Distribute the pesto equally between the pieces with your hands. Cover the bowl and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes before grilling. 24 hours marinating makes the chicken more flavorful if you can invest some time on it.
Preheat the grill (gas/charcoal) over medium heat. Grill the marinated chicken for about 4 minutes on each side, turning once during the process. Transfer it to a serving plate; loosely cover the plate with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before serving. Remove the foil; decorate it with thinly sliced fresh basil leaves. Serve it hot with a small cup of your favorite sauce or chilled pesto.
Notes & Tips:
Make sure to use same sized chicken breasts. This will ensure the equal amount of cooking time for all the pieces.
For less cleanup use zip lock bag instead of a bowl to coat the chicken with pesto.
Roast the garlic clove along with the pine nuts if the raw smell/taste is disturbing.
Marinate the chicken with pesto and refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavor go through the meat.