Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken Orzo Salad

Photo from Cooking Light, April 2008

I was thinking the other day that if I was going to write a cookbook, it might be called "101 Things to Make with a Rotisserie Chicken." When I'm uninspired, short on time, or trying to eat more protein, I often pick up a rotisserie chicken. However, we rarely just eat the chicken - I like to use the cooked meat as a shortcut for another dish.

For awhile, I was roasting my own chickens and I need to start doing it again, but it's usually about the same cost (if the whole chicken isn't on sale) and so much faster.

Last week I had the stomach flu - hardly appetizing information on a food blog, I know - but once I felt better, I had all this produce and food to use up before it went bad and I made this salad. It's high in protein, versatile, and easy. If you had leftover grilled chicken, it would be good in this recipe in place of the rotisserie chicken. I sometimes can find whole wheat orzo (rice shaped pasta) but I used the regular white variety this time. I thought a chopped avocado would be a good addition to this salad as well. If you prefer, you can use feta instead of goat cheese.

Chicken Orzo Salad (serves 4-6)
from Cooking Light April '08

1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 5 ingredients (through basil) in a large bowl; toss well.

Combine vinegar, oil, oregano, mustard, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

Other rotisserie chicken ideas:
Chicken enchiladas
Roasted Chicken and White Bean Salad
Chicken Pot Pie

1 comment:

  1. That tastes as good as it looks, I think. And, the chicken enchiladas teaser you left us at The End has potential two bee even better!

    btw, but I did tell you about National Chocolate Cake Day last month, didn't I?