Skewered Chicken Tenders Basted with Pesto Oil
Published by Chronicle
Whether you have garden-fresh basil and make your own pesto or buy basil pesto at the grocery store, these chicken skewers will be quick and delicious. Serve them with a mixed grill of vegetables. Think of these skewers as party appetizers, too, or tote them cold for picnic fare. They are always a big hit with children.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Mealdinner, lunch, snack
Taste and Textureherby, light, meaty, savory, smoky
Type of Dishskewer
- 16 7-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes, then drained
- ¼ cup store-bought basil pesto, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders (about 16 tenders)
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Immerse the skewers before lighting the grill, so they have plenty of time to soak. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium-high.
In a small bowl, combine the pesto and 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix well; set aside. Place the chicken breast tenders in a bowl, drizzle olive oil over the top, and brush or rub the chicken on both sides with the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Thread I chicken tender onto each skewer, unless there are small pieces to combine together. Weave the tenders so the skewers pierce each piece 2 or 3 times. Bunch the meat a bit, so it covers about 5 inches of the skewer.
Oil the grill grate. Fold a footlong piece of aluminum foil in half lengthwise and lay it on the grill grate. Arrange the skewers so the exposed bamboo is protected from the flame by the foil and the meat is directly over the fire, Use 2 pieces of foil if necessary.
Grill the chicken, turning once and basting frequently with the pesto oil, until the meat is nrm and the juices run clear when a tender is pierced with a knife, about 2½ minutes per side.
Divide the skewers among warmed dinner plates. Serve immediately.