Blackened Chicken with Zesty Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Cooker Configuration 

For our main dish today, we’re going to prepare a Blackened Chicken with a Zesty Red Pepper Pesto. Let’s start with the chicken.

Set your Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker up for direct cooking according to the diagram to the left.

Blackened Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

We’re going to pre-cook our pizza toppings on the Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker and infuse them with true wood-fired flavor. You can roast your red peppers along side of the chicken to save time.

Chicken breast (1 per pizza cut into strips)

Pre-packaged Pizza Crust

Zesty Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

I medium onion sliced thinly and caramelized

1/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

Feta Cheese

 

Blackened Chicken

The best way to cook chicken regardless of the cooking method is to brine it first. This process adds flavor and helps keep your chicken from drying out on the grill.

Chicken Brine

2 cups of warm water per breast

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Cracked pepper (to taste)

1 rounded tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon of curry powder

Pour all ingredients into a container and stir until salt and sugar have dissolved. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature. Add the chicken strips to the mixture, cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Take the chicken out of the brine and pat it dry with a paper towel. Brush both sides of your chicken breast with olive oil and apply the blackened spice blend.

Blackened Spice Blend

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Place a cast iron skillet on your cooker and add a little olive oil to it. Sear the blackened spice-coated chicken pieces in the skillet once it gets hot enough to sear. Briefly, sear each side of your chicken pieces for one minute. Carefully, remove the hot skillet from the cooker and finish cooking the chicken pieces directly on the cooker to add more wood-fired flavor. Cook the chicken strips for about 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Carefully, pull your chicken from the cooker and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Set the chicken to the side.

Zesty Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

This Zesty Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, which complements a variety of dishes, is easy to make and it stores well in the refrigerator. With this said, it may be prepared in advance.

3 whole red peppers

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more or less according to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

​Place your peppers on the grill and cook them until they become soft and their skin has charred. Carefully, remove your peppers from the cooker and immediately place them in a bowl with plastic wrap over it. Allow your peppers to cool for about 15 minutes. This steaming step helps with removing the skin. Once you've removed the skin, stem and seeds, add them to the blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it reaches a coarse, dense consistency.

Pizza Crust

Take a pre-packaged pizza crust, brush it with a little olive oil on both sides and place on the grill. Allow the crust to bake on the cooker until you start to see it turn a light golden brown. Flip the crust over and brown the other side. Carefully remove the crust from your cooker.

Let’s Assemble That Pizza

Spoon your Zesty Roasted Red Pepper Pesto onto the crust like you would a traditional red pizza sauce and spread it out on the pizza crust. Top the pizza with your blackened chicken, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. Place it in the cooker. Since we already pre-cooked all our ingredients, your pizza will not take much time to warm through. Carefully, remove the pizza from your cooker and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.