Grilled Chicken with Pistachio-Green Olive Tapenade, Tortillas and Garlic Cream By: Chef Ben Berryhill



6 Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
3 tablespoons BBQ spice
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4 pound Melted butter
2 cups Mexican Melting Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Pistachios, toasted and lightly crushed
1/4 cup Cotija, grated
1 cup Pico de Gallo

For the Garlic Cream:

1 tablespoon Butter
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup Dry White Wine
2 pints Heavy Cream
Salt, to taste

For the Pistachio-Green Olive Tapenade:

3/4 cup Pistachios, shelled and toasted
3/4 cup Cerignola or Castlevetrano Olives, pitted
3 tablespoons Capers, rinsed
1 Serrano chile, remove stem
2 Garlic clove, mashed
1 tablespoon Fresh Oregano Leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons Parsley Leaves, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, zested
Salt, to taste


Preheat the grill or broiler until very hot. Season 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, brush or mop with melted butter or oil and season with BBQ spice, salt, and pepper. Grill the chicken breasts on the grill or in the broiler, 2 to 3 minutes. Then turn and cook the other side. Keep turning the chicken every minute or 2 to avoid blackening or sticking; baste with butter on each turn. Total cooking time is 10 to 12 minutes for small breasts and 18 to 20 minutes for larger breasts.

For the Garlic Cream:
In a small sauce pot melt butter over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, no color. Add white wine and reduce until sec. Add heavy cream and bring to a slow simmer for five minutes. Strain thru fine mesh strainer.

For the Pistachio-Green Olive Tapenade:
In a food processor combine the pistachios, olives, capers, garlic, herbs and puree. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the mixture becomes a paste. Add the zest and pulse 1 more time, drizzling in more oil if necessary. Reserve until ready to use.
To serve, top the grilled chicken breast with a liberal portion of the tapenade. Top with fried tortilla strips and mexican melting cheese. Place under broiler until the cheese is melted. Place on center of a plate and pour garlic cream over the top. Garnish with toasted pistachios, cotija and pico de gallo.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!