Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad...

OK, this one's right off the stove- and pretty good for a first-time-make... if you like Chinese Chicken Salads you will definetly like this! Here we go, it's really simple and quick...

2 big chicken breasts (or 3 small), cubed and browned with a little s & p
1/3 cup green onion (about 2 stalks), chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 red bell pepper
2 carrots, shredded
1 bag pasta (bow tie or the multicolored Radiatore from Trader Joe's is yummy)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (cheapest to buy in bulk at Winco), toasted

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar (red wine vinegar would be my second choice if you don't have rice)
1 tsp sesame oil
3 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp ginger (comes in a jar)
1/4 tsp pepper

For starters, mix the dressing ingredients together, shake and refridgerate so that it has some time to chill together :). Next, get the water boiling for your pasta and get out a frying pan to toast your sesame seeds. I add a little drizzle of olive oil to the frying pan and toss in your 1/4 cup sesame seeds, constantly turning them until browned. Scoop them out and set them aside. Next up- prep the chicken. Wash it and cut it into bite size cubes or slices. Add a little olive oil to your pan and brown your chicken. I have said this before, but the best way to get a good "brown" to your chicken is to put it in your pan and let it sit, don't start turning it over and over. Once it gets a good sear on one side THEN turn it over and do the next side/sides. Add a little s & p to your chicken to give it some flavor. Alright, your chicken is cooked, your pasta is cooking, your dressing is chilling- time for the veggies. Peel your carrot and then shred it, chop your bellpepper, green onion, cilantro, and add it to your pasta bow. Strain your pasta, add it. Throw in your toasted sesame seeds and drizzle your chilled salad dressing to the mix. Toss it to make sure everything is coated. You can serve this dish warm or cold, it's great the second day- tons of flavor and great for a picnic, BBQ, or potluck! * One thing I might throw in the next time I make it is some chopped snap peas for an extra crunch!

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