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?


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.

Unknown 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 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.


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 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?