Monday, July 24, 2006

Quick & Easy Summer Dishes

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

This was a very simple dish to prepare, partly because it was made with leftover ingredients.
It consists of:
Cooked Fiore Tri-Colored Pasta
Grilled Chicken Breast (I cut up a leftover grilled chicken breast, that was marinated in pesto, into bite size pieces)
Pesto (I made pesto a few weeks ago and froze some in 3 small containers-I used one for this dish)
Fresh Chopped Parsley
Jarred Red Roasted Peppers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Grated Parmigiano Cheese

I mixed all of the above ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerated it overnight to marinate. I told you it was easy!

Chicken and Broccoli Salad
This was another dish that I threw together from leftovers. I used another leftover grilled chicken breast (that was marinated in pesto), cooked broccoli, black and green olives, cannolini beans, romaine lettuce, fresh chopped parsley and basil and garden herb croutons.

I tossed it all together with e.v. olive oil and sprinkled the top with some grated parmigiano cheese. It sounds simple, because it is- but let me tell you the flavor was fantastic. I was suprised at how good it tasted. I think the croutons did it!!!!

Today I was thinking about marinades. As I mentioned above, I had originally marinated the chicken breasts in pesto before grilling them. There are so many different marinades that work well with chicken, but somehow I always tend to gravitate towards pestos or olive oil and vinegar based ones. I once used a bottled ginger and garlic dressing and it was the most tender piece of chicken I ever made, and I can' t figure out why.

3 Questions I would really like answered: Do you marinate your chicken before cooking? Do you think it makes the chicken more tender? What is your favorite marinade?

5 comments:

Your Girl Friday said...

You're three Q's.

1. It depends what I am making.
2. Not really.
3. For things life stir frys, chicken wraps ect, I can't go past the fail safe, soy, honey, chili and ginger combo.

Claire said...

I don't usually marinate chicken. Given that I don't marinate I can't really answer the rest of the questions fully, BUT I think that the cooking method (temperature and length of cook) has a lot to do with how tender the chicken comes out!

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Yay to leftovers! I'm not usually a big fan, but I'm also not a big fan of throwing things away either.

Answers to your 3 questions (keeping in mind I don't eat much chicken!)
1.) Sometimes I marinate it, but usually if I'm only eating it plain (vs in a dish)

2.) Yes, I think it makes the chicken more tender - maybe the oil or vinegar starts to break down the toughness of it

3.) Favorite marinade...hmmm...I guess I haven't marinaded anything in a long time! It would have to be whatever Ryan throws together - typically some oil, vinegar/juice, herbs, dijon mustard.

-Crystal

Annie said...

Your Girl Friday, Thanks for the idea on your fail safe recipe-it sounds good.

Claire, I wish I could figure out what the perfect temp and cook time was!!

Crystal, Thanks for the input. I think the vinegar does start to break down the meat. I use the marinade you describe often :)

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Wait - now I remember!! I like our Greek Grilled Chicken dish that we made about a month ago. We marinaded that - olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, garlic - I think that's it. It was good.

Geez, don't you hate it when sometime pops in your head a day too late?

-crystal