Chicken in Basil Cream

Basil is one of those herbs that with just one whiff, I’m transported to summer. Maybe that’s what I was thinking when I looked out my window the other dismal morning and saw this… a frozen lake with absolutely no color – only various shades of gray caused by winter hanging onto its last thread.


…but so much wanted this… a beautiful sunrise of summer.

Sailboat Picture for MM

So though it isn’t technically basil season… I had to do something to bring me to a better state of mind. Sometimes there’s nothing that basil can’t solve. As I found myself oddly identifying with the migrating mergansers searching for warmer days and food in the newly, barely open water near our shoreline…


I went on a search of my own…


…and what I found was exactly what I was looking for…in just one glorious bite…!



Chicken in Basil Cream

(Recipe from Summer on a Plate by Anna Pump and Gen LeRoy)

2 large whole chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), skin and bones removed

1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved

Basil Cream

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 small head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, and dried

Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. Drain and cool.

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the onion, celery, and grapes.

For the basil cream; combine the garlic, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper and sugar, and pulse a few times to blend. Pour over the chicken adn mix well, to coat all.

Distribute the lettuce among four serving plates. Top each with a scoop of the chicken in basil cream and serve.

Yields 4 servings

4 thoughts on “Chicken in Basil Cream

  1. That basil cream sounds heavenly! I need to experiment more with fresh sauces, salsas and Greek yogurt based recipes as Summer is right around the corner and the BBQ season is coming…

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