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Barbecue Plank Roasted Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Barbecue Plank Roasted Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Breasts: Main Image

Quick Facts

Servings: 6
Cook Time: 35 min.
Homemade basil pesto stuffing enlivens grilled 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.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 440
  Calories from Fat 175 (40%)
(31%) Total Fat 20g
(26%) Saturated Fat 5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
(18%) Cholesterol 53mg
(55%) Sodium 1325mg
(8%) Potassium 295mg
Total Carbohydrate 52g
(2%) Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 50g
Sugar Alcohols 0g
(31%) Protein 16g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Nutrition facts are calculated by a food expert using nutritional values provided by the USDA for common products used as recipe ingredients. Actual nutritional values may differ depending on the amounts or products used and can be affected by cooking methods.

Copyright © 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved.

Read our healthy recipe definitions.

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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