Chicken and Orzo Salad

9 May

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I hope everyone is enjoying their Me Made May so far. I will have an outfit compilation post for you soon. But in the meantime, here’s a delicious, fresh pasta salad for you, perfect for a Mothers’ Day brunch.

This recipe is another favorite from the Junior League of Mobile’s Bay Tables cookbook (click here for other Bay Tables favorites). I made this salad most recently for a friend’s son’s first birthday party. According to my friend, it was a hit. I find it best when made the day before so the flavors have a chance to marry. But it’s also good eaten right away 🙂

 

Chicken and Orzo Salad

Yield: 20 servings

1 chicken cut into pieces (you can ask the butcher to do this for you)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pound orzo
2 cups slivered toasted almonds
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package crumbled feta cheese, optional

Boil chicken in a large stockpot, seasoning as desired. Cook until done. Remove chicken from stock and set aside to cool. Reserve stock for cooking pasta. Once chicken is cool, chop or shred into bite-size pieces.

Combine mustard, vinegar, oil, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and basil in a bowl and mix well.

Cook the orzo in the reserved stock according to package directions until firm and tender. Drain, then let stand until cool. Toss with 1/3 of vinaigrette.

Toss the chicken with 1/2 of the remaining vinaigrette. Add the orzo, almonds, red and green pepper, celery, and tomatoes. Add the remaining vinaigrette and toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve cold.

Crumbled feta cheese can be added to the chilled salad before serving, if desired.

 

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