June 23, 2009

Lemon Pesto Chicken and Cucumber Salad

I'm always looking for new and tasty ways to grill chicken; our menu always has several meals planned as "Chicken Breast --- side dish/veggie." One particular night last week it was - Chicken Breast with Greek Salad," and I was desperate for a new twist on our normal Chicken. Scouring the fridge for something quick, easy and light - this was my answer!

Lemon Pesto Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, thawed
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 2 Tb. pesto
  • Pepper
  • Toothpicks

  1. Carefully butterfly the chicken breasts; starting at the thinner end cut the chicken breast almost in half horizontally. Lay open.

  2. Place 2 lemon slice on 1 half of the chicken; spread 1 Tb pesto over lemon. Repeat with other chicken. Fold other half back on top and secure chicken and lemons with toothpicks. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of the toothpicks - I inserted them at a slight angle making sure to go through the top, a lemon and the bottom. I think I used 3-4 toothpicks per chicken breast.

  3. Grill chicken until cooked throughout. Once fully cooked, remove from grill and let set for approx 3-5 minutes to let the juices settle.

Cucumber Salad

I love Greek Salad. Feta is my friend; we get along quite well. But I decided to change up my Greek salad a little!

  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • 1 Tb. finely minced red onion
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • Olive oil
  • Italian Dressing
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Rinse cucumber - to give it a different visual dynamic, I thinly sliced the cucumber using a vegetable peeler. Place in a small bowl.

  2. Large dice the tomato and add , with the onion, to the cucumber.

  3. Drizzle with a liiiiiiittle bit of olive oil and Italian Dressing. Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir and let set for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Serve over a salad, or as a side dish on it's own.

Next time, I will make more of this - I kept snacking on it while preparing the rest of the meal!

This picture shows the chicken breast cut in half - it was very pretty and had a strong flavor. It's something I would make for company....Hubs voted for more pesto next time around; I think instead of more pesto though I will actually add a couple of basil leaves to intensify the basil pesto flavor.

Here is the whole meal - for the salad I layered chopped lettuce and spinach, cucumber salad, chopped Kalamata olives and Feta cheese.

TIP: When making a dish with raw chicken that has several steps and ingredients definitely gather all the ingredients and utensils you will need before you begin touching the chicken! Pre-slice the lemon, and go ahead and dish the pesto into a small bowl. This way you cut down on the risk of cross-contamination. You will dirty a couple more dishes.... but it's worth it!

Go to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday for more recipes!

This is also posted in Foodie Friday and Friday Feasts!

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Monica said...

The presentation is so pretty!Thanks for the recipe!

Cristina said...

This looks delish! I'll have to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

Nicole Feliciano said...

I just bookmarked this! Love the salad and the chicken combo (we are cutting back on cards) And I just posted Friday's Feasts over at Momtrends. I hope you’ll stop by and link up! Here's the link:


Terry & Dennis Macri said...

I love how thin you cut the cucumber. The recipe sounds great!

Mary said...

This really does look appetizing. It's a perfect summer meal. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful day.

bj said...

OMGoodness, this all looks so delicious. Thanks for the recipes..I have company coming next week and might just make this for them...

darnold23 said...

This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Poppedijne said...

This looks to me a very tasty summery dish. I must try it one day.

ButterYum said...

Yummy chicken!!!

The Desperate Cook said...

I bet that pesto makes the chicken taste really good. I never thought about doing something like this.