Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Green Goddess Chicken Salad

Serves 6
Green Goddess Chicken Salad
For the dressing:
2 oil-packed anchovies, drained
1 small garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, packed
1/4 cup basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
1 Tbl fresh oregano leaves
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
2 Tbl sliced chives
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, as needed
6 oz dried pasta, in a fun shape
2 large red bell peppers
1 2-pound rotisserie chicken
3 inner celery ribs with leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
Make the dressing: Combine the anchovies, garlic, parsley, basil, dill and oregano in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice, then process until smooth.  Fold in the chives, and season to taste with salt & pepper.
Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.  (Add enough salt so that the water tastes like the ocean.)  Add the pasta and stir.  Boil until just tender, stirring occasionally to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cool running water. Drain well and set aside.
Roast and slice the peppers: If you have a gas stove-top: Turn a burner onto high heat.  Place the peppers directly on the grate over the flame.  Keep an eye on the peppers, turning pretty frequently, until the skin is evenly charred all around.  Place the peppers in a container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.  Allow them to set for about 15 minutes.  [If you don’t have a gas stove-top: Preheat the oven to 500°F.  Place the peppers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast, turning every 5-7 minutes, until the skin is loose and blistery.  Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a container. Cover with a lid or with plastic wrap. Allow them to set for about 15 minutes.]  Remove the peppers from the container.  Slice each pepper in half, length-wise, and then into quarters, lengthwise again.  Remove the stems, seeds, and any tough, pithy membranes inside.  Using a knife, scrape off the charred skin from the outside of the peppers.  Slice the peppers into 1/2-inch slices. [Of course, to keep things even easier, you could always buy a jar of roasted red peppers.  No problem with that!]
Pull the chicken: Remove and discard the skin.  Pull the chicken meat from the bones and discard the bones.  Pull the meat into large bit-sized pieces.
Assemble the salad: Combine the pasta, peppers, chicken, celery and olives in a large mixing bowl.  Add the dressing and toss to combine thoroughly.  Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with celery leaves.