About this recipe:A delicious combination of chicken, pasta and tomatoes that can be served warm or chilled for a great meal on a warm summer day! This recipe may look a bit complicated, but I promise you - it is not. Chicken can be cooked on the hob or on a barbecue. It is great for large family gatherings and does not really need to be served with anything other than a good loaf of bread for sopping up the juices. I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine has.
3 cloves garlic, minced
60g fresh basil leaves
125ml olive oil
125ml balsamic vinegar
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
500g penne pasta
2 punnets cherry tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
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Mince garlic cloves in food processor or blender. Add 1/3 of the basil leaves to the processor, and chop until fine. Pour in 125ml of olive oil, and continue to process until mixture turns light yellow with flecks of basil. Add the balsamic vinegar; process just until combined.
Place the chicken breasts in a large zip-top plastic storage bag along with 1 tablespoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and the contents of the food processor. Squeeze air out of bag and seal. Allow chicken to marinate for 2 hours, or up to overnight, turning occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2.
Brown chicken in a large frying pan over high heat, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large baking dish, and place in the oven until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, slice into 6mm strips, and return to baking dish to absorb cooking juices. Keep warm.
While chicken is baking, bring a large pot of water to the boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain well. Stir the chicken and the juices from the baking dish into the hot pasta.
Thinly slice the remaining basil leaves, and place in a large serving bowl along with the tomatoes. Stir in the remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Top basil and tomatoes with the hot pasta, sauce and chicken; toss to combine.
Any hearty pasta that will hold the sauce works well in this recipe. The chicken can be fully cooked on the barbecue, if desired. It will blacken from the vinegar, but will taste delicious. For a more colourful dish, use a mix of red and yellow tomatoes.