Recipe – Grilled Chicken With Lemon Basil Dressing

January 21, 2009 at 8:43 pm 1 comment

After our morning workout, I decided to give a recipe I originally saw on Giada De Laurentis’ Food Network show, Everyday Italian a go, while making a few modifications of my own. So before leaving for work, I made the marinade for grilled chicken with lemon basil dressing. I’m happy to report that it turned out fabulously.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Dressing

Looks pretty appetizing huh? Allow me to attest, the dressing is AMAZING. I’ll be using it for everything from salads, to marinades Here’s how to make the whole shebang.

Fennel Seed

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (for marinade) plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds (the original recipe calls for a course crush, but Vita isn’t a big fennel fan. I left them intact for a milder flavor)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • teaspoon grated lemon zest

Lemon, Basil and Garlic on Cutting Board


Raw Chicken with Lemon Fennel Marinade

Whisk in 1/3 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a heavy-duty, zippered, plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turn the chicken occasionally if you have time. Just be sure you get to toss it every now and again before you bring it to the grill.

Basil, Kosher Salt, Pepper, Lemon Zest and Garlic in Food Processor

Blend the basil, garlic, lemon zest, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Once you’ve got it evened out, blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired. I don’t think you’ll need it though, as it’s already a flavor backed punch.

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.

The lemon basil sauce adds a huge kick to the chicken, giving it a lot flavor. The marinade makes the chicken really, really moist and the fennel adds a lot of earthy tones to the meat. This is a recipe I have a feeling I’ll be making over and over again. Vita said the chicken “dances” in your mouth. I’d agree, it’s really strong and very zippy. Try it, I have a feeling you’ll like it.


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