grilled chicken with lemon basil pasta

August 6, 2010

Happy Friday! I am pretty over the moon that the weekend is upon us. No road trips to fun destinations this weekend though! I have gloriously got nothing planned. I think it’s meant to be getting disgustingly humid again though so that might mean abandoning my un-air conditioned apartment in favour of the beach. Who knows. I’m pretty sure we’ll use the grill, I can tell you that much!

Know why I’m so certain? We’ve used it almost every day this week. Including for this puppy:

That Pioneer Woman, eh? She knows how to cook up a storm. I mean honestly! This dish is ridiculous. It’s rich, fresh and tangy. Oooh and it has barbecued chicken in it. That happens to have been marinating for twenty four hours in some deliciousness. All reasons to love it more.

I changed it up a bit and used only half and half instead of including heavy cream. When you rarely cook with creamy sauces, stuff like this can taste overwhelming rich. Also, it was 95 degrees and humid as hell outside so we really weren’t craving the cream.

It tasted beautiful like this but next time I would ease up on the lemon in the sauce a little or just go all out with the heavy cream which I suspect would even out some of the tang. And whilst I would say the half and half (or cream) is essential, the stars for me really were the fresh basil and lemon. Such a delightful kick.

Marinate it tonight, make it tomorrow, okay? If you’re following me on twitter you’ll know that Dan butchered a whole chicken the other night and these breasts are the product of that fun.

Fun tip
: buying a whole organic local chicken and butchering it yourself is waaaay cheaper than buying chicken breasts that have been de-boned and skinned for you. We’re talking $7 for two of said breasts and only $8 for the whole chicken! Winner.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

adapted from The Pioneer Woman


  • 2 whole chicken breasts
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1.5 whole lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 whole basil leaves, roughly chopped

For the chicken marinade:

  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Dijon mustard
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Dash of salt


  1. Pound chicken breasts until they are uniform in thickness and marinate them for 24 hours in above concoction.
  2. Grill them up, slice them and set them aside (kept warm).
  3. Cook pasta according to packet instructions til al dente, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
  4. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 1 and a half lemons. Whisk together. Pour in half-and-half. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
  5. Once the pasta/sauce is perfect, give the basil a rough chop, and add half of it to the pasta. Stir it together.
  6. Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Garnish with lemon halves if you like. Serve immediately!

In other news, did you know it’s National Farmer’s Week? Get thee to the market this weekend! Apparently I celebrated a couple of weeks early with this stash of farmer’s market recipes…

> blueberry crumb bars
> zucchini and olive french breakfast cake
> rainbow chard, summer squash and blue cheese tart [slight fail…]
> basil pesto

Have you butchered a chicken before?
Not going to lie, I was very much the spectator in this show. However much I’m into knowing where my food comes from, it grosses me out a bit to actually be the butcher!

What fun plans do you have for the weekend?

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