Sunday, July 9, 2006

Chicken and Pasta Salad

Also prepared just before leaving for the 4th, I tried this recipe for "Spicy Chicken and Pasta Salad" mostly because I wouldn't need to buy any new ingredients. I had the sour cream from the fajitas, a jalapeño from salsa making, scallions from the dumplings, mayonaise and lemon from my last pasta salad, chicken broth from the penne and ham dish, parsely from just about everything, and vegetables from general salad making.

This was very easy to make and the vegetables were delicious and making them the way this recipe called for, is now my new favorite way to prepare these veggies to go in a pasta dish. The dressing was a bit unexciting and not at all spicy, which I attribute to the lack of a food processor. I also attempted to reduce too little chicken broth. The boy also complained of too much mayo, even though I used less than half of what the recipe called for for the mayo and all of what it called for for sour cream. So in the recipe I'll list what I feel is the appropriate amount of broth, mayo, and sour cream, but feel free to adjust as you see fit. It could also certainly do with a spot of salt and pepper.

This dish was by no means bad, but certainly has room for improvement. A nice light meal that would work just as well chilled as warm. Perhaps letting the flavors mingle in the fridge overnight would enhance the flavor.

Chicken and Pasta Salad
from Prevention's Ultimate Quick & Healthy Cookbook, "Spicy Chicken and Pasta Salad"
Serves 2

1/2 cup chicken broth (i tried with 1/4 cup and failed)
1 large chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch strips
8 oz. gemelli pasta
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup carrot sticks (I quartered baby carrots)
1/2 cup snow peas
2 TBS fresh parsley
1 scallion, diced
1/4 - 1/2 fresh jalapeño, cut into chunks (depending on how spicy)
1 TBS mayonaise
2 - 3 TBS sour cream
1 TBS lemon juice

1) Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
2) Bring the chicken broth to boil in a covered medium sauce pan over high heat. Stir in the chicken strips, return to boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, turning occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to plate and cover loosely with foil. Increase heat to high and boil broth fro 3-5 minutes or until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Remove pan from heat.
3) Add pasta to boiling water and return to boil. Cook 8 - 10 minutes or according to package directions until al dente. About 4 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli and carrots. One minute before the pasta is done, add the snow peas. Cook until veggies are crispt and tender and pasta is done. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain again. Transfer to large salad bowl.
4) Combine parsley, scallion, jalapeño, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, and reduced broth to food processor. Process until puréed.
5) Pour dressing over pasta and veggies, add chicken, and toss to combine.

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