Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Its hot.

If its scorching in Vermont, I don't even want to think about the weather in Jersey, let alone Philly. Anyways, its time for dinner and I'm saving the cold, crisp, refreshing salad for tomorrow's rumored 98 degrees.  Did I mention that I'm living sans air conditioning?

Unless you're on the raw foods diet you're probably used to having some sort of a cooked meal, but who the hell wants a hot plate with heat like this??  I came up with a happy medium tonight; its hearty enough to be dinner, but light enough to suit a sweltering summer:

Balsamic BBQed Chicken with Pesto Farfalle & Arugula.

Let's get the chicken started first, because it needs to marinate for at least 3-12 hours.

You will need:
6 boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs. bone-in is fine, but nix the skin.

2 large cloves of Garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp cracked Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Put the chicken thighs into a large ziploc bag and pour the marinade on top of them. Using a spatula, finger, or chicken thigh, make sure there is no honey lingering in the bottom of the processor and get it into the bag with the meat.
  • Seal the bag, pressing out excess air, and work the meat to be sure each thigh is completely covered.
  • Move it to the fridge & let chill for 3-12 hours.
  • Preheat your grill, or grill pan, to medium-high. Once the grill is hot place the chicken on it, leaving enough room between pieces to rotate them. Allow the chicken to sit, undisturbed for about 4.5 minutes, then rotate the thigh 90 degrees and allow to cook for another 4.5 minutes [if using bone-in thighs, increase cooking times by 2.5 minutes each].  Flip the chicken over and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Necessities for the Pesto Farfalle & Arugula:
1/2 box DeCecco Farfalle pasta
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1/2 lb Baby Arugula, for for organic
1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/4 Cup Pesto [recipe will follow]
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil & 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt, then add the pasta. Cook until al dente, DeCecco usually advises accurate cooking times.
  • While the pasta is cooking, put the pesto & tomatoes in the bottom of a large glass bowl with a tiny pinch of salt to season the tomatoes.
  • Strain the pasta and quickly add to the bowl, its OK if some of the pasta water comes along with it, its extra flavor. Toss to coat.
  • Allow the pasta to sit for about 5 minutes and then fold in the arugula. 
  • Eat.
1/2 Cup Basil Leaves
1.5 Tbsp sliced Almonds
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
1.5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Blend in food processor until mostly smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Use immediately or store in fridge. To prevent oxidation or browning of the pesto, pour a little olive oil over top, gently press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the oil and then wrap the container with another piece of plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
Do yourself a favor and make this dish for your next cook-out, I promise it will be a big hit [and you won't miss sweating over a hot grill, trying to scrape off the gloopy, burnt bits of BBQ sauce].


  1. I'm going to make this! It looks great! Do you really only have to grill the chicken for ~20 minutes??

  2. Yup. roughly 15-20 minutes total cooking time. 9-10 minutes on presentation side and an additional 6 minutes on the underside, and then let it rest for 5 minutes and it will finished cooking

  3. This meal is great for a hot summer night and is really easy to make.

    I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. The chicken came out really tender. The marinade was a little too salty but I generally use less salt than most recipes call for. I added a little more cheese than called for in the pesto sauce. :)

    Great job, Miriam! Keep em coming