Barbecue Plank Roasted Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 6 chicken breast halves, bone-in and skin on
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 packaged cedar planks (Western Red Cedar)
- Basil Pesto Stuffing1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 Tbs parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Pre-soak cedar planks according to package directions. Usually, this will involve soaking boards for a minimum of 2 hours in a bucket or sink of water. In each of two gallon-sized zipper lock bags, pour 4 cups of water. Dissolve 3/4 cup salt and 3/4 cup sugar in each bag of water. Add 3 chicken breasts to each bag and seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate chicken about 1 1/2 hours.
- Prepare gas or charcoal grill.
- Remove chicken from brine marinade, rinse well and pat dry with paper towels. Loosen skin of the chicken. Place 2 tablespoons of basil pesto (recipe below) under the skin of each breast. Spread pesto around under the skin. Season skin side of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place each chicken breast, skin-side-up, on a pre-soaked piece of cedar. Lay cedar planks on grill rack and close lid. Cook 30 - 35 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 145° - 150° F.
- To grill without planks:Prepare gas or charcoal grill. Place chicken, skin-side-up, on grill over medium heat. Cover grill and let cook 30 - 35 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 145° - 150° F.
- Basil Pesto Stuffing:In bowl of food processor, place 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoons parsley, 1 clove garlic, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper. Puree pesto ingredients. With processor running, slowly pour 1/4 cup olive oil into mixture. Blend until pureed. Refrigerate until needed. Pesto will thicken when chilled.
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