Friday, October 8, 2010

Balsamic Chicken with Pasta Pesto

Balsamic Chicken with Pasta Pesto

Balsamic vinegar is one of those ingredients that has about a million and one uses. One of my favorite all time things to do with it is to make salad dressing with it but it can be used as a marinade as well. If you use vinegar in a marinade though, you need to make sure not to keep it in it too long because things like lemon and lime juice and vinegars cook raw meats as they sit. Also you can grill this chicken instead of pan searing it no matter how you cook this it will turn out great. You can find balsamic vinegar next to the salad dressing in your favorite grocery store. Also you can use whatever noodles you want I just chose to use penne because it's locks in a ton of the pesto. Let me know what you think.

- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 cup pesto sauce (recipe here)
- 1 pound penne
- fresh parmesean cheese, grated

The Process
1. Combine the garlic, rosemary, vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl and mix well using a wire whisk. Place in a flat casserole dish with the chicken turning to coat and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Take the chicken out and flip it over then return to the fridge for an additional 15 minutes. Place on the counter until ready to use.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take a large pot and fill with water, olive oil and salt for the noodle and bring to a boil. Heat a cast iron skillet with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When the water boils add the noodles and stir occasionally so they don't stick and continue to boil until they are al dente about 10 minutes. While the noodles are boiling add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook each side of the chicken about 3 minutes per side. You should get a nice dark color on each side. Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the chicken about 5 minutes.
3. When the pasta is done drain the water and return the pan and noodles to the heat. Add the pesto sauce and stir to combine. When all noodles are coated, turn heat off. Your chicken should be done by now and sitting on the stove to cool.
4. Place noodles and chicken on a plate, garnish with the parmesean and fresh ground black peppter.
5. Enjoy!

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