I am tired of hot, winter food and am doing my best to usher in the springtime by opening the windows, cranking some summer jams, and making this for community group dinner tonight.
If you are what you eat, then I am equal parts This Chicken Pasta and Ike and Jane’s Donuts.
Growing up, when my mom would make this, my siblings and I would quite literally dance a happy dance in the kitchen. Chicken Pasta Salad. OH. MY. GOSH. It was like Christmas and 4th of July and Your Birthday all rolled into one delicious summertime pasta. It was so good and the recipe makes so much that we’d be eating it for days. The only problem was that whomever took the last helping out of the refrigerator… well let’s just say that it was not a good day for you.
Here’s the recipe, straight from my Mama.
3 green apples
1 Sweet Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper
Green seedless grapes
Salt and Pepper
Salt n’ Peppa CD to dance to whilst eating this deliciousness
Take a roaster chicken, (whole chicken, usually the cheapest form of chicken) and boil it in a large pot with water and lots of Old Bay seasoning. The more the better. 5 or 6 tablespoons… not a whole can or anything.
Boil until done, usually 45 min or an hour. I usually put it on and forget about it. Take the chicken out of the hot water, don’t drain the water because you’ll cook the pasta in it. Ummmm yummy with all the broth and Old Bay in it.
Let the chicken cool. While you’re waiting for it to cool you can cook the pasta. Use a box of shells, or short noodles or twists, or what ever you like. Cook so it’s a tad al dente.
While the pasta is cooking and then cooling, don’t forget to take it off the heat and rinse to stop the cooking when it’s still not too mushy. I put a little bit of olive oil on the noodles to keep them from sticking together.
Cut up any of these ingredients that are optional and can all go together. It’s really what ever you have or whatever you feel like at the time.
One sweet onion chopped small but not minced, use less if you use a red onion!
green seedless grapes cut in half OR green apples, washed but not necessarily peeled. Or both!
raisins or craisins
red, yellow or green peppers chopped up
I add a few dollops of mayonnaise so that it’s moist but not gooey with mayo. I also add a small glug of white wine vinegar, or four to six good shakes if you have a shaker top.
Then I put in a lot of coarse black pepper and salt. Maybe less salt because I’m a salt nut and most people aren’t.
Peel and pick the chicken. Add it to the big bowl and mix well.
Sprinkle the top with Old Bay before serving.
This will feed 8 people easily especially if you serve bread and fruit. You can stretch it to 20 by doubling the recipe but add an extra box of pasta and maybe more of the fruit and veggies!