This grilled chicken recipe with basil and lime (I used lemons from my tree) screams SUMMER! It is super delicious. This has become an instant favorite especially since I have several of the ingredients growing in my backyard: lemons, basil, and scallions. This chicken recipe is light, fresh and healthy, perfect for dining al fresco on a warm summer night.
Andrew and I grow basil in our backyard and since we planted it I’ve been wanting to make homemade pesto. Over the weekend I finally did just that and now I’m hooked. I used this batch for two different recipes. Saturday night we had 3 couples over for dinner and games. I served this amazing pesto over grilled chicken (that was marinaded in olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt & pepper) and rice pilaf with almonds. It was a hit; everyone loved it. The following afternoon Andrew and I made chicken pesto sandwiches which was equally delicious. I’m plan on making another batch today to serve over sauteed tilapia tonight and pasta tomorrow night.
Lemon Basil Pesto (by Giada De Laurentiis) (makes 1 cup)
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts* see Cook’s Note (I substituted walnuts and toasted them in a saute pan)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from ½ a large lemon)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Zest of 1 large lemon
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup (1 ½ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
In a blender or food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the cheese and pulse until just incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Giada’s note: To toast the pine nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.
Grilled chicken pesto sandwich: nutty bread + ricotta + parmesan cheese + lemon basil pesto + arugula + grilled chicken
Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes are one of my favorite food combinations. I just can’t get enough of it. I absolutely love it on pizza. Just on a cracker or in a panini, it’s all is good in my book. The other night I was craving this amazing duo, but couldn’t stand the thought turning on my oven. (Mind you it was still 90 degrees out at 7 pm.) This chicken was quick and easy and I got my favorite food pairing in minutes. My taste buds and tummy thanked me.
Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast (serves 2)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
salt & pepper
Butter & Olive Oil
Butterfly the chicken by making a horizontal slice into each chicken breast, but without cutting all the way through the chicken. Open the chicken up like a book so it looks like a butterfly or heart. Then put the chicken pieces between parchment paper and pound it with a mallet, rolling pin, or your weapon of choice. Pound the chicken until it’s an even thickness. Then add goat cheese to one side of the heart and sun dried tomatoes and basil leaves to the other. Fold the chicken over itself and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add a little butter and olive oil to a frying pan and put over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot and the butter is bubbling add the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until it’s cooked through. Serve and enjoy!
Martha Stewart’s Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce is one of mine and my mom’s all time favorite dishes. We have both made it countless times. During one period of time my mom made it twice a week for months. It’s always a hit in my family. This recipe is easy to make often because it’s absolutely delicious and effortless! The mustard cream is amazing, so if you’re a saucy person like me, it’s a good idea to double the sauce recipe.
Recipe notes: For the sauce I substituted half and half for heavy cream (to make it a little lighter) and basil for tarragon, because I didn’t have tarragon on hand. Chicken broth or white wine are both great in the sauce. The white wine lightens it a little while adding great flavor.