Tuesday, September 25, 2012

LOADED Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad


Once again I am making a rotisserie chicken SHINE!

And big time shine!  This is one of those utterly surprising dishes.  LOTS of ingredients, lots of flavors, layers upon layers of tastes.  Wonderful textures, crunchy, chewy and even a squirt when you bite into a sweet mandarin orange slice!

The sauce is a fresh made simple teriyaki.

And the whole thing only takes about 30 minutes to make...

I had a BIG 3 pounder rotisserie chicken.  But I only needed about 1/2 of a pound of chicken meat.  So this is a great way to stretch that protein for another dish.  If you separate the thigh, one of the thigh and leg quarters, the meat from that is just about the right size.

I made this dish to serve 4 people.  The ingredients, as listed made 4 servings with enough left over for a lunch.  I served it as a main course.  But the next time I draw the "salad" course for a progressive dinner, it would make a tremendous show off dish!


Here's what I did...

I started the Pasta, reading the directions and carefully measuring the time so it is not overcooked.  I actually pull my pasta off the heat 1 full minute before the bag directions say.

While that is cooking, I start to assemble the other ingredients... First the dressing...


Teriyaki Pasta Salad Dressing

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
  • Large Pinch Salt
  • Large Pinch Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 3 TBS Sugar
Cooking Directions:
 all ingredients and whisk to blend. I prefer to mix in a blender or my handy mini chopper.

Next I get ready to mix the salad...


LOADED Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad


Ingredients
  • 8 Ounces Rotisserie Chicken, cooked chicken, diced. Feel free to add more if you prefer a Meatier Dish.
  • 8 Ounces Fresh baby Spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 1 pound Bow Tie Pasta, cooked according to the directions
  • 1 Can Mandarin Oranges, drained
  • 1 Small Can Sliced Water Chestnuts
  • 1 Bunch (about 5) Green onions, sliced, include the green parts
  • 1 Cup Honey Roasted Cashews
  • 1 Red Pepper Sliced and cut Julian
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tep Pepper
Cooking Directions:
If you have the time, marinate the cooked pasta in the Teriyaki dressing in the fridge for 1 hours. But usually I simply assemble and mix everything together while the pasta is cooking. When it is finished, add the pasta and mix with the teriyaki dressing. When dishing, be sure to dig to the bottom of the bowl as the nuts and water chestnuts tend to sink.  I usually hold back 1/4 of all the ingredients (except the spinach and pasta) and spread them around the top of the salad for presentation.



I simply adore everything about this...

The al dente pasta, the fresh taste of the greens, combined with the snappy crispness of the water chestnuts, the squirt of the citrus from the oranges and the crunch from the cashews and red peppers all combine for a that special melange of tastes and texture!



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This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Uses For a Rotisserie Chicken"  (Now close to 100!)...I am so confused... $5.49 for a fully cooked, fully seasoned Oven Roasted, Rotisserie Chicken. Yet shop in the raw meat department and most raw chickens are at best $8 each and usually far closer to $10. Anyone have an answer??? Me either. So, I can either rail against the machine, or learn to embrace the beauty that is the $5 chicken! In this pin are recipes I have made, and recommend. MORE than 52 (I just can't stop)..
You get the idea.  From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking).  More than enough ideas for that store nought bird to shine with just a little extra work

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