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Friday, August 24, 2012

Grilled Chicken Tenders with Arugula Pesto

This was my husband's pick for dinner, after a 14 hour day. I think he just wanted something comforting, and tasty. Of course, I just couldn't leave it simple.

I am still working on using up my haul from the Minneapolis Farmer's Market this weekend, and I grabbed this nice bunch of arugula from Dehn's Herb Garden. It was fresh, peppery, and I had no idea what to do with it. Ray wanted these grains that he is in love with, from Trader Joe's, so as my friend Tim used to say, I could have put the butt of a skunk with it, and Ray would eat them. 

Finally I decide that any green could be pesto (can't it?) and mix it together with olive oil, lots of garlic, pine nuts, know the drill. Grill some chicken tenders, cook up the Holy Grail of grain, and...dinner !
Grilled Chicken Tenders with Arugula Pesto 
For the pesto:
3 cups fresh arugula, stems trimmed
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a food processor or blender, mix together arugula, garlic, olive oil and half of the pine nuts. Add extra olive oil if needed to make smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Here is the shot of the grain:
I cooked basically according to the package directions, except I used chicken stock rather than water, and added extra butter at the finish. Ray can eat half the package in one sitting.

For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Mix spiced together and rub onto chicken tenders. Preheat grill to high, and place tenders on grill. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Serve with grains and pesto as a dipping sauce.

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