I’m always looking for new ways to cook chicken and ways to use the fresh basil growing in my kitchen window. This yummy recipe fits the bill for both. Bonus points: I can usually get my children to eat the couple of bites of zucchini without too much fuss.

Butterfly Basil Chicken
Makes 4 servings

Farfalle means “butterfly” in Italian, and my kids just love eating the little bow tie–shaped pasta. This is one of our favorite weeknight meals.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
8 ounces farfalline (tiny bow-shaped pasta) or farfalle
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of oil, the balsamic vinegar, and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. One at a time, place half a chicken breast between two plastic storage bags. Pound with the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin until the meat is about 1/2-inch thick. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle on both sides with the chopped basil.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides and the chicken feels firm when pressed in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate, tent with aluminum foil, and keep warm.

4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

5. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well.

6. Divide the pasta among 4 deep soup bowls. Top each with a chicken breast half, and then equal amounts of the zucchini. Drizzle each serving with the balsamic vinegar mixture. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Mad60s – From Fabulicious! by Teresa Giudice with Heather Maclean