Chicken Breasts with Coconut and Cilantro Pesto

Pesto with cilantro and coconut is the most delicious marinade to have flavorful tender chicken breast. The coconut imparts beautiful the nutty aroma and taste while cilantro turns from grass smell to sweet scent while mingling with the juices of chicken.

 My herd loves this pesto chicken than the basil one.This pesto is leaner too without the cheese which makes it perfect for a diet meal too. I have used coconut oil to enhance flavors but u may skip that.

Cilantro/ Coriander leaves – chopped a fistful
Fresh coconut grated – 1 tbsp
Serrano green chili chopped- half (optional)
Garlic – 1 flake chopped
Salt to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Blitz everything together first and grind to required consistency. Sprinkle very little water to get the blender blades running.(I have gone for slight dry paste consistency so it coats the chicken well.)
Note: Use pesto immediately to prevent blacking of green color.

For the chicken:
Chicken breast fillet pieces -9 pieces
Pesto – prepared above
Salt and pepper to taste
Turmeric- a pinch
Chili powder / paprika – 1/2tsp
Method :
Apply all the powders on the fillet pieces and leave it to marinate for 20 minutes to an hour.
Heat a non stick pan add 2 tsps of coconut oil put the chicken pieces in an even layer when it slightly browns after 4-5 minutes turn to the other side now apply pesto liberally on each piece of chicken.Cover with a tight lid (preferable)and cook on low heat for 7 -8 minutes covered then turn and cook for another 10 minutes covered. Do not open the lid switch off stove and leave it on stove itself for another 10 minutes.
This allows the cilantro and coconut to brown evenly and caramelize to give chicken all the best flavors.

Serve with rice or,flat bread and cooked veggies or salad and some homemade pickled jalapenos.

Do let me know if u like it.

Here are some more pesto ideas from FOOD NETWORK friends:

7 Replies to “Chicken Breasts with Coconut and Cilantro Pesto”

  1. Rafeeda AR

    That pesto sounds more like chammanthi to me! 😉 Chammanthinte English peraanavo pesto? Parayaan patillalle… this sounds so delicious… love all the flavors…

  2. Meena Kumar

    If pesto originated in Italy basil went there from India so I just rerouted everything and made it more Kerala -ised thats all. Yes, it can be called cheese illathe chammanthi or arappu for malli kozhi heee hee nothing wrong :))))

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