Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 23, 2012

Smoked chicken with pesto on pasta

Dave Lobeck
CNHI News Service

Sellersburg, Ind. —

For those of you who have been following my column, you know that I enjoy combining grilled or
smoked foods with different food styles and preparations.

In this case, I am combining two of my favorites, and that is smoked chicken with Italian cuisine.

This week's recipe is very similar to last week's in terms of the grilling. We will be using chicken breasts and indirect heat.

Set up your grill with indirect heat by placing approximately 25 to 30 charcoal briquettes on one side of the grill. Sprinkle a couple handfuls of hickory chips on the charcoals once the charcoal is 75 percent gray.

Many are mistaken in the assumption that the chips need to be soaked in water. Totally
incorrect. The actual smoke rendered by water soaked chips is not what adds the flavor. In fact, it is the burnt residue that remains.

Place the chicken breasts on the opposite side of the grill. No seasoning is needed as the pesto sauce will provide the flavor. Place the lid on the grill and let cook for 30 minutes or so.

Make sure the breasts are not placed directly over the charcoals.

After 20-30 minutes, the chicken will have a light golden color to it. Move the chicken
directly over the coals. Once things start flaming, place the lid on the grill for 3 to 5 minutes to kill the fire. Turn regularly until the chicken is golden brown and registering 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Bring inside and let sit for 5 minutes. Carve into bite size pieces and set to the side.
Cook your pasta according to directions, drain and place the pasta back in the pot with a drizzling of olive oil. Add the smoked chicken, the pesto, butter and grated cheese. Mix and serve.

At the table, liberally add additional cheese. Remember, this is ultimately an Italian dish.

Three chicken breasts are plenty for this dish. We served four people and still had leftovers.

For an instructional video, visit and type “chicken pesto pasta” in the search field. You will see two good videos on this dish.

• 2 cups of fresh basil
• 5 cloves of chopped garlic
• ¼ cup of olive oil (approximate)
• ¼ cup of roasted pine nuts
• Salt and pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients
• 13.25 oz box of your favorite pasta
• 3 chicken breasts
• ½ stick of butter
• 1 cup of shredded Parmesan or Ramona cheese

Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at