Grilled Chicken with Lemony Artichoke Pesto
Recipe type: Direct heat grilling
Serves: 6
COOK'S NOTE: This pesto recipe makes twice as much than you possibly need. Freeze half in an air-tight container and use for pasta or another dish such as grilled salmon or pork.
  • For chicken:
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (optional brine):
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  •  :
  • For the pesto:
  • one 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup packed basil leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. If you are not going to brine the chicken, skip ahead to the next step. Otherwise, heat 1 cup of water and salt in a small saucepan; stirring until the salt is dissolved. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add the remaining 3 cups of water. Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the bowl and add the lemon quarters as well. Cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, add the chicken breasts, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. For the pesto: in a food processor, add the artichoke heats, basil, walnuts, and garlic. Remove the zest of the lemon with a vegetable peeler and add that to the food processor as well. Pulse until everything is very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Transfer pesto to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan and the juice from half of the lemon. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3. Set up grill for direct heat cooking over high heat. Brush and oil the grates before cooking.
  4. Remove chicken breasts from the brine and rise under cold water to remove the from the surface of the meat. Pat the chicken dry, brush with a little olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper (and salt if you did not brine the meat).
  5. Grill chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink; the internal temperature should register 165ºF. Remove chicken from grill and rest for 5 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, before serving with a dollop of pesto.
Recipe by Grilling Outdoor Recipes powered by Bull Outdoor Products at