This is a perfect, light summer dish. We like to have a salad afterward, and a piece of fruit. Do not overpuree the broccoli pesto, as a little texture is nice. Sometimes we add another garlic clove to the pesto.


  • Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole, skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise
  • For the pesto
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water


Marinate the chicken: In a nonreactive bowl big enough to hold the chicken breasts, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken breasts and marinate them in the refrigerator for several hours.

Heat the grill.

For the pesto: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the water comes up to a boil again. Scoop out about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the broccoli. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and cook the garlic until it begins to take on color, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Cook the florets until they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the broccoli and garlic to the food processor. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, the remaining garlic, and salt to taste and puree to a rough paste. Add the chicken stock a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until the pesto is loose and saucy. Adjust the seasoning.

Grill the chicken breasts over hot coals or gas for about 3 minutes on each side. Do not overcook the chicken. (If cooking on top of the stove, cook in a lightly oiled grilling pan over high heat for 20 minutes, then turn over and cook for an additional 10 minutes.) Remove the breasts and allow them to rest for a few minutes. Slice the breasts on an angle against the grain of the flesh, about 1/2 inch thick. Garnish with broccoli pesto.

Serves 4 - From Italian Family Dining by Edward Giobbi & Eugenia Giobbi Bone

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Submitted 11/8/05.
Source: Italian family Dining
Submitted By: Brandon Smith

Chicken Breasts with Broccoli Pesto