Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn

I always find that buying fresh herbs to be a little painful. You have to purchase them in large bunches. They inevitably go bad before you have a chance to use them all. You end up feeling frustrated, defeated, and utterly guilty. I also feel this way about purchasing large containers of chicken stock. Yes, I know you can freeze chicken stock, but I never remember to do it. Sunday night roles around and the chicken stock from last week is still sitting in the fridge and I end up pouring and entire container down the drain feeling like a total loser.

I must be stopped.

I've decided my new mission in the kitchen is no man left behind. At the end of the week, this week, I froze my leftover wine in ice cube trays; butchered my own six pound raw pork shoulder into small portions, wrapped them, and stuck them in the freezer; and I made loads of cilantro pesto.

If you've never tried cilantro pesto, I urge you to give it a shot. It's a little different than traditional basil. So super fresh, a little tangy, and it will make you feel like summer never left, especially when paired with pasta and lemony chicken. I wouldn't steer you wrong.

Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Lemon Grilled Chicken
Serves 2
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lemon, zested and quartered
  • 1/4 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over medium high. Generously sprinkle salt, pepper, and lemon zest on each side of the chicken breasts. Add the chicken to the pan and cook on each side 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove pan from heat. Juice lemon into the pan. Then, place the pan directly into your hot oven for 20 minutes.

Boil water in a medium saucepan. While the water is boiling and the chicken is cooking. Whiz cilantro, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and kosher salt in a food processor or Magic Bullet until smooth.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until preferred doneness. Once cooked, place pasta and cilantro mixture in a medium mixing bowl. Toss pasta to coat and divide in two bowls. When chicken is done, remove pan from the oven, slice and place over pasta.


  1. I keep chicken stock in the fridge for weeks... is that not ok? either way, love the sounds of this cilantro pesto!

  2. Ha. Well. Technically chicken stock is only good for 4-5 days, once open. I'm not really sure what happens to it, or if it goes bad, but I generally tend to follow the advice of www.stilltasty.com, so I toss it after a week.

  3. For an added surprise, hide vegetables at the bottom for your unsuspecting guests. BURIED TREASURE!

    I wish I had a giant bowl of this right now.

  4. Oh, yea, I hid sauteed zucchini and summer squash at the bottom. A meal isn't complete with out a serving of vegetables.

  5. Leftover wine? What's that? ;)

    My freezer is overflowing with leftovers and other random things haha

  6. You were not kidding. You are indeed a pesto maven. GREG

  7. What a cute background! Is that a backsplash in your kitchen? The food looks great too! :)

  8. I'm intrigued... I'm adding cilantro pesto to my list of things to make. And yeah... I keep chicken stock for about 7 days and end up tossing it... I need to get better about freezing it... or meal planning.