Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pesto Chicken

I planted basil about two weeks ago then started to read up on how to cultivate it, most of what I read said that I need to prune it back to promote more growth and a better "harvest" plus I have learned in the past that if basil starts to flower it will get a woody texture and will not work as well for anything that requires fresh basil. I mentioned that last weekend I was poking around the kitchen quite a bit so I decided to use my Basil clippings to make Pesto I had a good sized handful, but didn't really measure it, I washed it and put it in a bowl lined with paper towels for a while to dry.

This is one of those times that I annoy people because I did not measure a thing here I toasted off some slivered almonds on the stove top and set those aside. Then I put the rest of the ingredients: Basil, 3 cloves of Garlic, Olive oil and a little Kosher salt, into the blender and tossed the almonds in on top. I chopped it all together until well blended I had about a half of a cup of fresh Pesto Sauce. I put a about a tablespoon of sauce into a bowl and put a small chicken breast (about 3-4 oz) in and flipped it around a couple of times until coated. I left it on the counter until I cleaned up my mess maybe 10 or 15 minutes, then started my water for pasta and lit a burner under my cast iron grill top.

When the water was about to boil I put the chicken on the hot grill to cook then put the spaghetti into boiling water and put the rest of my pesto into a sauce pan. Whenever I cook chicken on the stove top grill I cover it with a pan lid to hold heat and moisture in I did that when I turned the chicken over the first time. When I turned the chicken over again the pasta had been cooking for about 8 minutes so I covered the chicken and drained the spaghetti then turned the heat on under my sauce pan. My pasta went into the saute pan and the kids went into the sauce pan for the Olive Oil, Parmesan Cheese, garlic treatment that they like. After I coated the pasta well over high heat I Julienned the chicken breast and set it on top.

Pesto made with all fresh ingredients has such a bright, for lack of a better word, summer flavor to it I can't resist bragging that this wasn't a disappointment at all! The flavors just popped when I had them the garlic, basil and olive oil are such a perfect blend.

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