Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing

Tonight I made an old standby recipe, Giada’s Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing. I had a bunch of basil leftover in the freezer and was happy to use it all up with a summery dish (especially on a night that does NOT feel like summer). I’ve made this chicken so many times that I don’t follow the recipe anymore but just add everything to taste.

Adapted from Giada’s Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing (my version below serves 2)

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoons fennel or anise seeds, coarsely crushed
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp rainbow peppercorns
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon (Reminder to zest before you juice!)

Dump 1/2 of the oil, 1/2 of the lemon juice, fennel seeds, some salt and ground pepper in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally.

Meanwhile, blend the basil, garlic, lemon zest, remaining lemon juice, salt, and peppercorns in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper. You will want a lot of sauce so don’t be afraid to keep adding basil, lemon juice, and oil.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to plates. Drizzle the basil sauce over and serve.

Dessert? Honey lavender ice cream 🙂

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