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Grilled Chicken Pesto

Written By Neerakar on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | 8:18 AM

Grilled chicken pesto is one of my favorite pasta to make at home. The beauty of this dish is the simplicity. You can prepare this meal in less than half an hour and taste like something that you have spend hours making in the kitchen. Follow these simple steps !

Ingredients:


  • Fresh Basil 
  • Roasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 Chicken Breast 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 lemon zest and Juice 
  • 4 -5 Cherry Tomatoes cut in half 
  • Asparagus
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Fresh Rosemary 
  • 4 cloves of garlic - 3 with skin on and 1 without 
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • Cast Iron Skillet (optional) 

Directions: 


Pesto is a very versatile ingredient. You can use it in pasta as well as to make tasty Panini. It's very easy to make pesto. You can also buy it in the market but I prefer to make it fresh at home. In a food processor put some basil, peeled garlic, roasted pine nuts and add olive oil. Blend it until you get a nice thick consistency. Add more olive oil and lemon juice & zest as you go along. Season with salt & pepper. Then grate the Parmigiano and add it to the pesto. On a side note, pine nuts can be expense so if you want to be economical, substitute the pine nuts with roasted cashew. You will almost get the same creamy and nutty taste. 


A lot of people get nervous cooking pasta. Is it done or not? how long should I cook it for? Here is one trick I always use while making pasta - Follow the instructions on the back of the box. The manufacturers have made it very easy for you. Time yourself and you will have the perfect Al Dante pasta. Boil water in a deep pot and after the water has boiled add salt & about 1 tbs of of olive oil to the water. This step seasons as well as prevents the pasta from sticking. Then add your Penne and cook it according to the instructions on the back of the box.


After the pasta is cooked, strain the water. Wait here is one more thing you should never ever do - Don't ever put cold water after you have cooked your pasta. This is a common misconception. By rinsing the pasta with cold water you will wash away all the starch and prevent the sauce from sticking to the pasta. 


 Season your chicken, both sides, with salt & Pepper. Let it rest for about couple of minutes before you cook it in the skillet. 



In a hot skillet add some olive oil. Add rosemary and garlic and cook your chicken breast one side as shown above. Again don't flip the chicken too many times. Chicken breast get dry very fast if you do so.


After you cook the chicken half way on one side do the same on the other. Continue to base your chicken with garlic and rosemary infused oil that you have been cooking. This way the flavor gets distributed properly. After the chicken breast is cooked take it out and let it rest before you cut it. Also preserve the rosemary and peel the garlic. Chop them finely. We will later use it to garnish the dish.


On the same skillet cook your Asparagus and Tomatoes. After its cooked put it aside to rest.


After all the ingredients are cooked mix them together in the skillet. Remember at this time the skillet should be off heat. You are just mixing all the ingredients in the skillet to absorb the oil in the skillet that has been infused with ingredients. At this point also add the chopped rosemary and garlic that you cooked together with the chicken.

Bon Apetit

Garnish with grated Permigiano and the dish is ready to be served. Enjoy :)




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