Grilled Balsamic chicken, tomato/olive pesto

Grilled Chicken and Tomato-Olive Pesto Pasta

 Another easy meal.  The sun-dried olive pesto pasta doesn’t have the prettiest color (no bright green pesto or flaming red sauce) but it is delicious so don’t pass it up.


  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil

Pound or butterfly the thicker portions of the chicken to ensure even thickness and cooking.  But chicken in a zipper bag.  Combine the other ingredients and pour the marinade into the bag.   Massage the bag to distribute the marinade.  Refrigerate the bag for 2-4 hours.

Remove chicken from the bag.  Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Turn off the heat.  Put the chicken on a broiler rack and broil (or grill on a grill) for about 5 minutes per side.  Baste with the cooked marinade to keep the chicken juicy and help it to achieve a nice brown color.

Pesto sauce

You can make the sauce while the chicken is marinating.  Cover it with plastic wrap and set it aside on a countertop until the pasta is done.

  • ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes (if packed in olive oil, drain them well)
  • ¼ cup pitted oil-cured olives or Kalamata olives, drained
  • ½ cup well packed Italian parsley leaves
  • ½ cup well packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 oz peeled and coarsely chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (omit if your tomatoes were oil packed)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup warm chicken broth
  • 8 oz pasta such as linguini, or spaghetti
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except pasta and cheese in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Bring pasta water to a boil just before grilling the chicken.  Add 1 tsp salt and then pasta (chicken goes in the broiler right after the pasta).  Cook pasta, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until al dente.  Drain well and mix with the pesto sauce.   Mound pasta onto dinner plates and top with cheese.  Add grilled chicken and a green salad.  Serves 4

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