Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pesto Grilled Chicken

Next up in my pesto-mania:  Pesto Grilled Chicken.  This recipe is actually the reason I wanted to make fresh pesto but the pizza came first in pesto use!  I get recipes & coupons from my local grocery story, King Soopers.  For you Easterners, it is the same company as Kroger.  Anyway, they had sent me a recipe for Spicy Grilled Pesto Chicken.  I am not sure why they named it spicy because it isn't spicy at all to me but it was very tasty!  As always, I didn't follow the recipe completely so here is the recipe and then I will tell you what I did. 
Spicy Grilled Pesto Chicken
     from King Soopers

1/4 c fresh parsley
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Pesto
1 large resealable food storage bag
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thawed (approximately 4 medium to large thighs)

Wash & de-stem parsley, and chop until finely minced for about 30 seconds in a food processor.  Combine the well-chopped parsley with freshly ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce and pesto in a large resealable plastic bag.  Mix the ingredients well with a spoon, and/or by squeezing closed bag with hands.

Add thawed chicken, one piece at a time, into the bag, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly.  Marinate chicken in a bag for 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature or in the fridge.  Remove pieces with tongs and grill for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until the internal temperature reaches a safe 165 degrees F.

For a refreshing summer side dish to balance the sizzle of the grilled chicken, serve with chilled pickled vegetables.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Serves 4. 

So here is what I did.  :)  I didn't have parsley so out the window that went.  I also am not a big fan of dark meat so we used chicken breasts.  Drew might have preferred I used the thighs.  Next time!  I used 4 pretty large chicken breasts and thawed them for a couple of hours.  I mixed the pesto (about 2 heaping Tbsp since I didn't use the parsley), black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a few dashes of lemon juice (another veer from the recipe!) in my gallon bag and added the chicken breasts.  The chicken was mostly thawed but not completely.

I mixed the chicken breasts around in the bag and got them coated well and then let them marinate for quite a bit longer than the original recipe.  I probably let them marinate for 2 to 2.5 hours.  I turned the bag a few times during the marination time to make sure the flavors soaked in evenly.   Then I grilled them up!  As I was grilling the chicken, I did slowly add some of the marinade back on to the chicken to keep it moist and add more pesto flavor.

Drew & I really enjoyed this chicken and I foresee us making it again. Plus we had leftovers for lunch.  :) It was juicy and very flavorful, a definite YUM!