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Cilantro Pesto Chicken

  I first had this several years ago at a friend's house.  She was not a cook and had a friend help her to make it.  When she gave me the recipe she said it was hard, so I didn't make it for a long time.  Turns out it is really easy, really delicious, and really healthy.  AND you will have almost all the ingredients in your house already.  The only thing you might not keep all the time is cilantro.  I hope you love it as much as we do.  My kids were RAVING about it the other night and asking to have it again and again.  MAKE EXTRA, trust me!  I am also going to post a "Round 2" recipe to use the leftovers for, but really you can just eat it plain.  I like to serve it with a rice dish.

Recipe: Cilantro Pesto Chicken with Sweet-Hot Garlic Sauce

Yield: 4-8 breasts
( Last time I made this I used a 6 pound bag of chicken.  We ate some leftovers and then I used to rest to make some enchiladas, which were very yummy! I doubled the pesto but not the dipping sauce because it makes alot of dipping sauce)

`1 tsp. coarse ground peppercorns
`about 1/2 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
`2 Tbsps. coarse chopped garlic (I use the stuff in a jar)
`1-2 Tbsps olive oil
`2 Tbsps soy sauce
`1 tsp. salt
`4 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

`1/2 c sugar
`1/4 c water
`1/4 c white vinegar
`1 Tbsp. fine minced garlic
`1/2 tsp salt
`1/2 Tbsp. dried red pepper flakes

Directions:  Use a food processor or blender to process the peppercorns, cilantro, and garlic into a paste, adding enough olive oil to get it all moving around and well blended.  Add the soy sauce and salt.
 Place in a gallon sized ziplock and add the chicken. Allow to marinate for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
Make the sauce by combining ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes until reduced to a light syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Use to dip the chicken in. It is spicy so don’t pour all over the chicken if you are going to serve it to kids.

Grill the chicken (I used an indoor grill pan oiled with olive oil to keep it from sticking) until it reaches an internal temperature of 165.  Remove from grill and allow to sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

Round 2 Recipe:  Cilantro Pesto Chicken Paninis with Avocado

So, just use any bread you like for paninis.  I love to use Whole Wheat Oroweat Sandwich Thins and put the cut side on the outside of the panini.  Lightly butter the bread.  Place 1 thin slice muenster cheese on one slice of the bread.  Place sliced Cilantro Pesto Chicken on that.  Add one more slice of cheese.  You could add some red onion but I didn't.  Top with the other piece of bread.  Place in a non-stick skillet preheated to medium.  Place a heavy skillet on top to weight it down.  Grill until golden, flip and grill the other side.  Serve with fresh avocado slices and garnish with chopped cilantro.  YUM!!!

Let me know how you like the recipe!  Enjoy!


  1. Made it and loved it! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. I'm gonna try it is sounds great, I think even Jesse would eat it! Love your posts:)

  3. Made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! Sarah said it was now one of her top favorite meals I make and definitely wants it again. Cam and the kids all loved it too. I tenderized three chicken breasts and cut them in half. I made chicken rice-a-roni and rolls to go with it. Even with just the three breasts it was enough for 3 adults and 3 children. Thanks for sharing the recipe! We loved it!

  4. Yummy chicken! Thank you so much for sharing this with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)


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