Grilled Jalapeno Pesto Chicken

October 12, 2012

It’s been a long week, so you want some excitement Friday night? Well, prepare to bring on the heat with GrillGrrrl’s spicy jalapeno pesto chicken, the perfect antidote to plain ol’ yard bird.

pesto chicken with lettuce head

I love jalapenos. While I am a self-confessed heat addict, they are extremely good for you too! Jalapenos have more vitamin C than eating an orange and are packed in vitamin A! So feel good about eating this recipe. And if you don’t like heat but like the pepper flavor, take the seeds out and this marinade will have very little heat.

This is a loose interpretation of the term “pesto.” Instead of basil, I use cilantro and pair with jalapenos and lime juice to make my “triple crown” of favorite flavors. This would be equally great on grilled veggies and as a dip paired with tortilla chips.

 jalapeno pesto for grilled chicken

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade:

◦   3 limes- used for juice and zest

◦   1 bunch cilantro, stems removed

◦   4 jalapenos- if you don’t like heat, remove the seeds.

◦   5 cloves garlic

◦   1 tbsp olive oil

◦   1 tbsp sea salt

◦   1 tsp pepper


Additional ingredients:

6 pack of chicken legs- enough for 2-3 people


Use a food processor or emulsion blender to mix all of this together. Zest all of the limes for lovely lime goodness, then cut them in half and juice them directly into the processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in the processor until all the ingredients are mixed uniformly.

Marinate the chicken legs for up to 4 hours. If you don’t have time to marinate that long, you will still have good flavor in the chicken.

Grill the chicken on a medium/high grill, about 350 degrees, approximately 7-8 minutes each side, or until an internal temp of 170 degrees has been reached (use a meat thermometer, don’t try to guess!)

I paired the chicken with quick and easy grilled romaine and Texas toast for a satisfying and easy meal. Do you have a favorite play on pesto?



Related Topics: Barbecue Chicken Recipes | Barbeque Chicken Recipes | Bbq Chicken Recipes | Chicken | Chicken Marinade | Editor's Picks | Grilled Chicken | Grilled Chicken Recipes | | Jalapenos | Main Dish | Pesto | Spicy Chicken

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