Fennel & Pepper Pasta Salad
In this wonderful chicken salad the chicken takes a back seat to pasta, fresh vegetables, and minced fresh basil. Serve with whole wheat bread sticks and finish the meal with orange sorbet.
  • 3 large red bell peppers, cut lengthwise into flat panels
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces penne or other small tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 small fennel bulb (about 3/4 pound), feathery tops removed and bulb thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil
  • 12 lettuce leaves

1. Preheat broiler. Place bell pepper pieces, skin-side up, in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until well charred all over. Place peppers in a bowl to steam. When cool enough to handle, pull off skins and cut peppers into 1-inch-wide strips.

2. Meanwhile, place chicken in large skillet with water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about eight minutes; turn chicken over about halfway through.

3. Reserving broth, remove chicken and garlic. Mash garlic with a fork and set aside. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool. When cool enough to handle, tear into shreds.

4. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water.

5. In a large salad bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of reserved chicken poaching liquid, mashed garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, oil, orange juice concentrate, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add roasted peppers, shredded chicken, drained pasta, fennel, and basil, and toss well. Serve on a bed of looseleaf lettuce.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 471 calories, 9.5g total fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 5.4g monounsaturated fat, 1.3g polyunsaturated fat, 3.7g dietary fiber, 37g protein, 59g carbohydrate, 66mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium.
Good source of: beta-carotene, iron, potassium, vitamin C.

Date Published: 09/19/2005 > Printer-friendly Version

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