A simple grilled pesto chicken.
Grilled Pesto Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped into strips (show no mercy for them cowards!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 # orzo pasta (Looked like 2 or 3 C worth)
- 3 garlic cloves, unwrapped
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
- 2/3 cup good quality olive oil
- Toast pine nuts on pan over medium heat. Just need to wait for the pan to get warm, then watch the nuts. (They’re crazy!) You want golden brown nuts, not blackened. They turn very, very quickly, so watch out. Also, look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. May need to scrape down sides to get them down just right.
- Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until chopped. Avoid letting the blade run for a while. The longer it goes, the smoother the pesto gets and some of the fun is in the varied texture.
- With motor running, add oil slowly, blending until incorporated. I usually start with a little and work my way up to my desired consistancy. I find that keeping it a bit dry at first allows better flavor penetration with the chicken, so opt for drier and add oil when doing the final mix.
- Rub the chicken with half of the pesto and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you have time, let it marinate in the fridge for 2-12 hours. Even just 30 minutes is enough to let the flavors come through.
- Get water ready for pasta, with a pinch of salt.
- Grill over medium heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Alternately, broil in the oven until done, about 5 minutes in my $^& oven. While that’s going, make the pasta.
- Toss pasta with pesto and a bit of extra oil, if it needs it.