Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes

Pesto chicken with tomatoes.
My wife and I made this dish the other night. I'm not a big pesto fan
but I still can't get over the taste. Enjoyable.
I think we have about a hundred chicken recipes.
Some with marsala, red wine, white wine, cream sauces;
Some fried, broiled, baked, cubed, shredded, and more...
Somehow, pesto keeps crawling back from the recipe book.
Must be that GREEN color, or maybe the smell of the basil.
Guess I found my weak spot. Pesto.
Or should I say: "Pesto !"

Here goes:

1 box of whole wheat pasta. I like elbows or ziti.
Wheat pasta, less fat.
Penne works great here.

1- 2 chicken breasts, depending on how much chicken you like.
I think my friends on the east coast have Perdue.
We have Foster Farms.
1 cup of baby (cherry) tomatoes.
2 cups of freshly chopped basil leaves
1 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 garlic, smashed and diced
juice of 1 lemon + 2 Tbsps. of lemon reserved for the marinade
1/2 cup of olive oil + 4 Tbsps reserved for the marinade. I like Bertolli oil.

First, I take the chicken breasts and remove all the fat.
Slightly flatten (aka) pound the chicken breasts.
I (lightly sprinkle) salt and pepper each side of the breasts.
Set aside.

For the chicken marinade:
2 Tbsps. of lemon juice
4 Tbsps. of olive oil
1 Tbsp. of poultry seasoning.
Poultry seasoning is basically dried ground onion, garlic, basil, sage, coriander,
 black pepper, paprika, rosemary, and marjoram.
Both The Spice Hunter
and McCormick make dry spices.
Blend (infuse) the oil with the lemon juice and stir in the poultry seasoning.
Pour over the chicken breasts.
You can marinate the chicken in the fridge for 1 hr.,
but remember to let the chicken get to room temp before cooking.
My preferred cooking method:
I oiled my barbecue. (Or you can spray with Pam.)
Cooked the chicken over medium setting, roughly 5 minutes
per side until lightly scoured with grill marks on both sides,the chicken juices run clear
and the meat is white and moist.
Also, barbecued my tomatoes until they are  blistered (popped open.)
Let both rest

Place the pine nuts in a small pan.
Place over low heat on the stove for 2 minutes to loosen the oils and aromatics
 from the pine nuts.
In a cuisinart or food blender:
 mix the 2 cups of finely shredded basil, the cup of pine nuts that you roasted, the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water. Al Dente: 8 minutes.
Drain. Do not rinse! Do not oil!

Dice the chicken into shreds or cubes. Cut the tomatoes in half.
Place in a serving bowl with the pesto and pasta.
Mix well.
Serve chilled or room temp.

Now for the fun stuff...
I'm filtering and bottling my chardonnay today.
Everyone say Yeahhhhhhh!

Life is beautiful.
Thanks Kath, Luv u.


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