Use flavorful bone-in chicken breasts to make this grilled pesto chicken. Photo by: Joe Keller/America's Test Kitchen via AP
July 10, 2019 10:16:23 AM
Basil pesto isn't just for pasta. We found a way to imbue chicken with basil and garlic that would hold up on the grill.
How did we get enough flavor into the chicken? We used homemade pesto, which tastes stronger and fresher than store-bought. We added the pesto base to separate mixtures for marinating, stuffing and saucing the chicken.
We found that bone-in chicken breasts had the most flavor. We cut pockets in them to fill with pesto and then marinated the stuffed breasts in more pesto. We added a third dose of pesto in a sauce to serve with the chicken after it was grilled.
GRILLED PESTO CHICKEN
Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
4 (12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed
-- For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
-- For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-low. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature of 350 F.)
Nutrition information per serving: 442 calories; 247 calories from fat; 28 g fat (14 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 279 mg cholesterol; 860 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 23 g protein.