Thursday, January 1, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing

Thanks to my friend Carrie, I am the proud owner of a recipe that is simply divine. It's so good that I thought about cloaking it under the guise of a secret family recipe. But, I'm feeling generous, so here it is.

Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (about four lemons)
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
1 tsp grated lemon zest

In resealable plastic bag, combine 1/3 cup of the oil, 3 tbsp of the lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 tsp of the salt and 1/2 tsp of the pepper. Add chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a blender, blend basil, garlic, lemon zest, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium-high heat or preheat a ridged grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter. Drizzle with basil sauce and serve.

The recipe is a favorite in our house. I wish I could say it was Carrie's original creation. Alas, it comes from a cookbook called The Italian Grill. It also works well with sweet onions and mushrooms on kebab sticks.

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