I know this recipe looks complicated but really it isn’t. There are a few steps but if you think about it you’re only grilling chicken and adding some toppings. With good time management this dish can be done and served with a side dish without being too overwhelming. Even the basil oil can be made in advance! (and leftovers used to top your goat-cheese omelette tomorrow) A note about the piquillo pepper which I have not found easily in my area. To be a stickler, you could order them from this website for authentic ingredients or you could substitute with canned, fire roasted red peppers. I actually used a small pickled pepper (I will find the name of it next time I’m at Publix) from the olive bar at Publix that was kinda spicy, kinda sweet. Adapted from my most favorite book at the moment, “The New Spanish Table” (see my review!) by Anya von Bremzen, this dish is very flavorful and with the presentation, is great for a dinner-party! I’m going to get to it since there are a bit of directions involved, also, you can’t get by on this one without a food processor.

Messy Ingredients:

For the Piquillo Gazpacho Sauce: 

  • 1 slice white bread, no crust, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes then drain/squeeze out excess water.
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup piquillo pepper with some of their liquid *see substitution note at the top.
  • 1/4 cup Cubanelle pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 3 -4 large garlic cloves, pressed with garlic press
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 3 TBS good extra-virgin olive oil (my new go-to EVOO is California Olive Oil Co. from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 TBS aged sherry vinegar
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Take your soaked bread and put it in a food processor with all the rest of the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to stand 30 minutes or so to let the flavors meld well.

For the grilled chicken:

  • 6 chicken breasts, skinless
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • ground pepper

Lightly rub the chicken breasts with the oil then sprinkle on as much salt and pepper as your taste-buds like. Grill or broil until done, turning once brushing again with olive oil after turning. Cook 6-8 min per side.

For the Basil Oil (may be done in advance, keeps for 1-2 weeks in the fridge)

  • 2-3 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste

Bring a small pot of water to boil, meanwhile get together a bowl of ice-water for the blanching process. Blanching is a cooking method where vegetables are submerged in boiling water for a very short amount of time (length of time depends on the vegetable in question) then quickly cooled again to preserve color and flavor. Once the water is boiling, put the basil in and allow to boil just 15 seconds or until the basil begins to turn bright green. Quickly submerge in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and then put the oil and basil in a food processor, blend well. Add salt to taste. You can strain out the basil bits if you want but why waste good basil?

Once your triad of ingredients are ready to plate start by spreading a couple spoonfuls of the gazpacho sauce on the plate. Slice the chicken long-ways into strips and fan them out on top of the sauce. Drizzle the basil oil  on top of the chicken and sprinkle with salt. Then you’re ready to go!

Dukan Diet Worthy for Stages 2 and up!

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