Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pesto Zucchetti with Grilled Chicken

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

6-8 zucchinis or 3 extra large zucchinis
4 -6 Tb. fresh pesto (recipe below)
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts pounded flat (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
4 Tb. toasted pine nuts
Celtic salt and pepper
1 Tb.Coconut oil for grilling chicken
1 Tb. Olive oil to sautee zucchini
2 fresh garlic cloves
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Prepping and Grilling Chicken:

I pound my chicken breasts until they are flat and about 1/2 inch thick. I like my chicken to cook evenly, and this seems to help me achieve my goal. Once pounded I season with Celtic salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat and add your coconut oil. Once hot (and oil spits a bit) add your chicken breasts to the pan. Once seared on one side flip and brown other side. After I flip to the other side I begin sauteing my zuchetti, so make sure you zucchini noodles and garlic are already prepped. Once chicken is cooked through (anywhere from 6-10 minutes) remove and let stand. This will allow the juices to re-distribute through out the chicken breast. After about 5-minutes slice your chicken. Your chicken will get layered on top of your zucchini noodles at the very end.

Prepping and Sauteing Zuchetti:

With a vegetable peeler, peel your zucchini until you have peeled about two layers of the white. If you have small zucchinis peel until you hit the seeds, otherwise if you have extra large zucchinis( like the ones you get fresh out of a garden), you don't want to peel as much white because it tends to get too watery. If your zucchini noodles are too wide, layer them on top of each other, and cut them thinner. I like mine about the width of a fettuccine noodle. Heat a large pan with olive oil and add one of your garlic cloves. I sprinkle a dash of red pepper flakes to infuse the oil. Once my oil is heated and garlic cloves is browned, remove garlic and add your zuchetti noodles. Saute over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until slightly softened while frequently moving around the zucchini in the pan .Add a sprinkle of Celtic salt and pepper. Add your pesto and mix. I like my pesto on the lighter side, but add or subtract to you liking ( I do a bout 1 tablespoon per person). Remove from pan and place portions onto plates.

-While pan is hot add a bit more olive oil and your other garlic clove to infuse the oil. Again once garlic is browned, remove and add your sliced tomatoes. Saute until warm ( about 3 minutes) add Celtic salt and pepper for taste. Remove from heat and place over zucchetti. Add your toasted pine nuts at this time and top with grilled chicken.

Homemade Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil-washed and spun dried
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Celtic salt and Pepper to taste
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

In a cusiniart or blender, blend your basil pine nuts, and cheese until mixed. Add your salt and pepper to taste. Once all combined, start streaming in your olive oil until all ingredients are combined. Ready to serve.

Toasting Pine Nuts:

Heat a small pan on medium heat. Add your pine nuts. They will brown quickly, so continue to move them around in your pan until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.