Cilantro-Infused Chicken & Pasta

I have finally discovered the joy of cilantro oil. Aaaahhhh!!!! Yeah, I know… I’ve been living in a cave!

Although I have seen many recipes suggesting the use of neutral-flavored oil (canola, safflower, etc.), I prefer combining the pungent taste of coriander with the fruitiness of EVOO. I believe this combination allows for a bit more depth and complexity in flavor, especially when used in a naked pasta dish like this one.

Also, you can strain the oil so that the solids are removed but I’d rather go rustic and leave everything mixed in. After all, it’s all about the cilantro, isn’t it? And remember to only make enough for each time you’ll use it since you want it as fresh as possible.

Now, if you’re a cilantro freak like I am, this dish will definitely put a smile on your face. And possibly, a few pounds more than you’d probably want.

Ingredients (4 servings):
4 Split Chicken Breasts (or tenderloins)
1 lb. package Pasta of your choice
1 Bunch Cilantro, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup EVOO
Salt & Pepper
Hot Sauce (optional)

Directions:
Make cilantro oil by combining one bunch of cilantro (don’t forget to reserve a few whole leaves for garnish later), EVOO and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and running it for a few minutes or until the mixture is completely liquefied. Store in fridge until ready to use. Strain it if you want or stir well before using.

Rub chicken pieces with cilantro oil, season with salt & pepper and let it marinade for a few minutes in the fridge while you preheat the grill to 450F. Grill until done and set aside in a covered container.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente. Drain the water afterwards then pour cilantro oil over until every piece of pasta is fully coated. Salt & pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Plate the pasta. Top with slices of chicken pieces and if you want, drizzle a little hot sauce on top. Garnish with leftover whole cilantro leaves and maybe a lemon wedge, if you have it.

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