Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicken Pasta Salad

(Hello, first real food pics from my new lens. You are beautiful. The end.)

4 svgs farfalle (bowtie) pasta
3 svgs garden rotini pasta
1 chicken breast
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cucumber, cut into 1/2" chunks
pasta salad seasoning, to taste

Prepare pastas as directed. Drain and run under cool water until room temperature (or cooler if desired).

Cut chicken breast into small chunks and pan fry over medium heat. Add 1 TBSP of Italian dressing to chicken chunks when chicken is almost finished cooking.

Toss chicken, cucumber, and pastas together.

Add dressing (amount is really up to you, and depends on your tastes) and pasta salad seasoning.

Best when served chilled for an hour or so. Serves 6+.

To rejuvenate the next day, toss with a bit more salad dressing and another couple of shakes of pasta salad seasoning.

Comments from the cook: I debated whether or not to post this recipe. It's not really MY recipe. It's just 6 ingredients. Nothing is really homemade (unless you call browning a chicken breast HOMEMADE). But we eat it (or some version of it) at least once a week in the summertime. And I'm the boss of this very food blog, so I can post whatever I want! :)

If you read my other blog, you'll know that pasta salad seasoning is a BIG DEAL to me. My mom found a seasoning called "Salad Elegance" long ago (made by Johnny's), we got hooked on it, and then I moved to Utah. It was hard to find there, but not impossible. And then the place I always bought it stopped carrying it. So I did what any normal person would do. I ordered a $30 2.5-lb tub of it. And I've not been happier with a purchase ever since.

McCormick makes a version called Salad Supreme (sold in the spice section), which will work, if you don't have access to the loveliness that is Salad Elegance. My observation was that McCormick's SS has more celery salt, and is not as light tasting...but we ate it when times were hard and Johnny's got the boot from our local store. Until we took matters into our own hands, that is.

Variations of pasta salad are endless. My mom has added fresh tomatoes and olives to hers before. We also do a version that is just spaghetti noodles, cut-up pepperonis, chunks of cheese, Italian dressing, and Salad Elegance (for dinner when we're trying to UP the taste and HOLD the healthy!)

Either way, this is one of our favorites. And, I tell you, I've never been happier to own $30 of a spice.

Originally made by my mom, Alane Sleight.

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