Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Cooking....Roasted Chicken and Farfalle Salad

Oh, yesterday was a hot one, a record 104 degrees at my office. This is NJ, not the deep South, not Texas. It is not suppose to ever be 104!

Now, I don't know about you, but when it gets hot, all thoughts of cooking seem to me like a bad idea. At least any cooking that involved heat. So, there I was, wandering around online and saw this recipe for
Chicken Pasta Salad on My Recipes and one without a heavy mayo based dressing. Instead, it had a much more refreshing sounding citrus based dressing, a touch of sweetness with the grapes, some crunch with the celery and nuts and the always comforting pasta. Now, I happened to have some roasted chicken breasts in the frig, but you could easily use a rotisserie chicken too.

As always, I made a couple of small changes. I had no walnuts but I did have pecans, so pecans it was. And I had no rice vinegar, so I used the red wine vinegar I had on hand. I figured the amount was small enough it would not make a big difference and I do not think it did. Also, after reading comments on the website, I made 1 1/2 times the dressing the recipe called for and kept the extra to be able to add a bit more if it seemed dry the next day.

I must say I was a little concerned about a few of the ingredients, like the mustard and the grapes and the nuts, but really it all blended together very nicely, no one ingredient standing out too much. Very tasty and I think even nicer the next day when everything has had a chance to all meld together even more.
I served mine on a bed of baby spinach leaves for a very nice lunch or dinner, quick and easy, one pot, one bowl and pretty healthy.

Roasted Chicken and Farfalle Salad

6 servings (serving size: about 1 2/3 cups)

3 cups uncooked farfalle pasta (about 8 ounces)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup thin diagonally cut celery
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Cool completely.

Combine orange juice and the next 7 ingredients (orange juice through rice vinegar) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine. Add pasta, chicken, grapes, celery, red onion, walnuts, chives, and parsley; toss gently to combine.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. 104? Maybe you should move to FL.... It was 92 here. Your salad sounds wonderful especially with the oj in the dressing. Going in my recipe file. Thanks for posting!

  2. happily, it only lasted two day...the heat that is.

  3. This sounds wonderful -- but I'm big into mustard!

    OMG your heat! We didn't get past 100 but it was truly miserable.

  4. I generally don't like chicken salad because it's too mayonnaisey for me. That citrus dressing sounds wonderful!

  5. I love the combination of the mustard and the juices for the dressing :)
    Hope it's cooled off a bit for you!

  6. The news crawls said they were closing schools in Jersey due to the heat. We didn't get that high but it was pretty unbearable! Salad is a great idea on days like that. Looks delicious. The vinaigrette sounds like a perfect combination in the salad!

  7. I love using bowtie pasta. I think somehow it makes everything taste better!

  8. I totally agree about the is my favorite, especially for cold salads.

  9. I've been looking for recipes that call for already cooked chicken. This one looks yummy enough to make the list. I like the crunchy mix of nuts and celery plus the addition of the fruit.

  10. This looks great! I have a leftover chicken breast here and am getting hungry for lunch :-)

  11. Thanks for this recipe. I don't like mayo so it is perfect for me.

  12. The citrus dressing sounds very refreshing.

  13. I've made this one several times, and you're right - it's perfect for hot days - and even for not so hot days. "My recipes" is one of my favorite web pages, and now I get their morning email to give me some hints about what to cook next. I love to cook, but this old brain needs jump starting some times to figure out what to cook.

    Hope you cool off soon, if not head on up to Maine where it's foggy and only 50 - and i'm about to build a fire in the fireplace.

  14. I seriously need to consider a future move...seriously

  15. Sounds very delicious. It would be good with smoked chicken too- even less cooking, especially in the heat.

  16. This seems like the perfect hot weather dish. It looks so great as well. Thanks for sharing

  17. ...what if i don't want to cut my celery on a diagonal?



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