Recipe: Grilled Balsamic Chicken Breasts with Pesto Pasta
To sweeten and soften the flavor of the garlic and add a toasted component to the pine nut flavor, I toast them. This step may be omitted.
Yield: 4 servings
Marinate Time: 1-3 hours
Active Time (including time to make pesto): 40 minutes
Ingredients for Grilled Balsamic Chicken Breasts
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Directions for Balsamic Chicken
1. Make a vinaigrette by whisking together the oil, vinegar and honey. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Place chicken breast halves in a resealable plastic bag set or in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat chicken. Let marinate, refrigerated, 1-3 hours, turning bag occasionally.
2. Drain chicken and pat dry. Prepare gas or charcoal grill to medium heat heat. Grill for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees), turning once. Serve with your choice of pasta tossed with pesto (recipe follows) to taste.
Ingredients for Pesto
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4 cups packed freshly harvested basil leaves, washed, stems and flowers removed
- 3/4-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 cups grated Parmigianno Reggiano
Directions for Pesto
1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toast the pine nuts and garlic in the oven until the pine nuts are golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
3. In a food processor, puree the garlic with 2 tablespoons oil until smooth. Add the pine nuts to the bowl and, with off and on pulses, pulse until semi-pureed yet coarse. With a spatula, scrape garlic-nut mixture from the bowl into another bowl and reserve.
4. Working in batches, place the basil leaves in the food processor and, with the addition of remaining olive oil, puree until smooth. Combine basil mixture with garlic-nut mixture. Stir in Parmesan and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. The pesto will remain fresh, tightly covered, several days refrigerated. You may also spoon into ice cube trays and freeze them to use as desired.
This recipe was written by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Aug. 16, 2011.