Grilled Chicken with Basil Purée

June 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s summer; time to heat up the grill!  Here is an easy chicken recipe that didn’t require a trip to the store, thanks to our flourishing basil plants.  Feel free to multiply the number of chicken breast.  You will have extra sauce with this recipe, but it goes well on sandwiches (while it lasts).

Plan Ahead: this recipe requires a marinating time!


1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs good olive oil

3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoons celery seeds

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

1 large clove garlic

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest



1. Whisk olive oil, 2 Tbs lemon juice, celery seeds, salt, and black pepper in a bowl to create an emulsion.  Put (thawed) chicken in a heavy-duty plastic bag, and pour marinade over chicken.  Massage marinade into chicken.  Make sure there is little or no air in the bag.  If you can, flip every ½ hour.

2. Refrigerate the marinated chicken for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

3. If you plan on using a grill to cook the chicken (which I recommend), turn it on so it has time to get hot. If you plan on using a grill pan, preheat over medium-high heat.

4. In a blender or a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, lemon zest, and remaining lemon juice until smooth.   Gradually add the remainder of the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper (according to preference).

Before the olive oil was added...

5.  Grill chicken until cooked through (5-7 minutes per side).  Transfer chicken to plates and drizzle with basil sauce to serve.

This summery chicken went well with a cold pasta salad.


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