Summer pasta salad

This chicken pasta salad is easy to make and absolutely addictive. I made it for a friend who said that she kept eating a little every time she passed the refrigerator. I made it for a work potluck (back in the days when we went to the office and had potlucks) and it has been requested for every potluck since.

Blackened Cajun Chicken Pasta Salad

  • 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts split
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 oz. cajun or blackening seasoning mix (I don’t actually measure it, I just dump a bunch in a glass pie pan.  I mixed 3 different types together for this batch.)
  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 3 – 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups mayonnaise

Melt butter.  Dredge chicken breasts in melted butter and then in seasoning mix.  Sear 3 minutes per side in a heavy oven proof skillet and then cook in a 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes until done.  Chill.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking.  Chop chicken into bite size chunks and toss all ingredients together.  (If you want spicy, you can add extra seasoning.)

chicken pasta

Leftover salads

The steak and chicken both resulted in additional dinners using up the leftovers in salads.  The lemon garlic steak was great on top of a vegetable salad with a new dressing and is easily adaptable to your favorite veggies and/or dressings.  The chicken was the latest entrant in my ongoing competition for the best chicken salad.  This is definitely in the running!

Salad with leftover steak

This vinaigrette is excellent and paired well with the steak.  For the salad itself use whatever greens and vegetables you like and/or have on hand.  (I had leftover potatoes, tomatoes and avocado).

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine egg, mustard, vinegar, garlic and shallot with 1 TB water in a food processor or blender.  With the machine on, slowly drizzle in the oils until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper and use as dressing on your salad.

IMG_3343

Chicken Salad

  • chopped chicken from spicy grilled chicken
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise (more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients.  Enjoy on top of lettuce or as a sandwich.