Cilantro Parsley Pesto Chicken

I know this bowl of green stuff looks very unassuming and maybe even a little scary.  Let me put you at ease by saying that this may be my favorite new condiment/sauce/dip/very yummy stuff!  It is really easy to make and packs a lot of flavor in one spoonful.  I’ve used it on chicken (as I’ll show below), mixed it into pasta and even spread it on a sandwich.  It just gives anything bland a punch of flavor.

This is not a traditional pesto as there is no basil or pine nuts, or any nuts at all.

The easiest part of this pesto is it’s all made in a blender, without cutting or chopping anything else.  First add in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Wash one bunch each of cilantro and flat leaf parsley.  I know this looks like a lot, but it all gets blended into only about one cup of pesto.

With your bare hands just rip off the tops, stems included.

Poor herbs, they had no idea was was comin’ to ’em!

Stuff the herbs down into the blender.  Now here’s the hard part, if you have a cheap blender like mine.  Once you start the blender it will blend the bottom half pretty easily, but the herbs toward the top would be blended.  Intermittently stop the blender and push all the leaves down toward the blades.  You can also drizzle more olive oil in slowly as the blender is running.

Here’s the lovely green concoction!

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

My favorite way to use the pesto is on chicken breasts.  I use chicken with bone and skin on.  Lift the skin and with your fingers and rub the pesto onto the meat, and then some more over the skin too.

Roast the chicken in the oven and savor the beautiful herbal flavors of cilantro and parsley in the juicy chicken dish.

Cilantro-Parsley Pesto Chicken

2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro

2 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 large garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

6 chicken breasts, bone and skin on

 

Add in oil, garlic, herbs and seasoning to blender.  Pulse blender until blended well. With machine running, add in more oil in a slow, steady stream if needed.

Lift the skin of the chicken and with your fingers and rub the pesto onto the meat, and then some more over the skin too.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done.

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Keep Store-Bought Herbs Fresh

Have you ever bought a big bunch of basil in the plastic container, used a couple of leaves and the rest turned brown and limp and then you end up throwing it all away?  Yeah me too…………until now!

Basil does best at room temperature, not in the refrigerator.  I treat them like fresh flowers and trim the stem just a bit and place them in a glass of water on my counter top.  This glass of basil started out limp and lifeless.  After about a day in the glass each leaf crisped up and looks fresh again.  This is a great way to prolong the life of your basil.  Give it a try!

I love buying green onion because I know that I will get about 3-4 more uses out of each stem.  Cut off and use only the green parts of the onion and put the stem in a glass of water.  The green leaves will continue to grow to full size!

Talk about getting your money’s worth, huh?

Make sure to change the water every few days, when it gets murky.  Enjoy watching your onions grow!

Fresh Herb Compound Butter

I completely realize that adding anything to butter is really gilding the lily, but this compound butter just adds freshness and flavor to any dish.  I selected herbs that were plentiful in my garden.  From left to right, I have thyme, chive, flat leaf parsley and Greek oregano.  You can tell it’s spring because the oregano is budding with its orange flowers.

Compound butter has a multitude of uses.  It can be used for spreading over baked fish, chicken, steaks, pasta or even mashed potatoes.  Where ever you want to add some richness and fresh herbal flavor, this butter is your answer.  It can be easily stored in the freezer, rolled up in wax paper for about 4 months.

I used two spoons to form the butter into quenelles, a three-sided football shape…….just for presentation.  This would be a lovely way to serve butter to company as well.  This video shows a simple way to make quenelles.

 

Compound Butter

1/2 cup butter (one stick)

1 tbsp thyme

1 tbsp chive

1 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp oregano

1/2  tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

 

Bring butter to room temperature.  Finely chop all the herbs and mix together with the butter in a small bowl.  Add salt and pepper.