When you've a very hungry man to feed or even a gaggle of ladies from the bridge club, then here's a super solution to have on hand for a quick summer spread.
Not your usual chicken salad, this one's extended by using that old San Francisco treat - Rice a Roni. Not something I ordinarily have in my cupboard, when I saw this recipe in a Junior League Cookbook, Saint Louis Souvenirs, I was intrigued enough to give it a go.
Prepared Rice A Roni is spiced up a touch with marinated artichoke hearts, green onions, red and green peppers and roughly chopped black olives and chicken of course.
The recipe called for poached chicken, but I figured a little flavor boost was in order so kicked ours up a notch by grilling the butterflied breasts for more even cooking, then brushing them with some of our kicky kumquat marmalade. While that may be a stretch for some of you, I figure the same flavors could be achieved mixing orange marmalade with a little triple sec and a chopped up habanero pepper. Brushed on the chicken at the very end of the grilling time, I also mixed some of the marmalade into a mixture of mayonnaise and sour cream to dress the salad.
We were both surprised by how delicious this salad is; in fact it's so tasty, it had my hungry man going back for seconds and there's a bunch left for lunch today too. It makes a ton, so be prepared to enjoy some leftovers but I don't think they'll hang around for long.
Incidentally if you're stuck at the thought of using a whole habanero pepper for the glaze, they're really not as hot as you think they are. Carefully remove the seeds and ribs and you'll lose a huge part of the fire in the pepper. As well, the smaller the mince, the hotter the glaze so leave bigger chunks and you'll cut the heat even more. Of course if you're really worried about your glaze being too spicy, you can always substitute jalapeno or serrano's too but I'll have to call you a pansy if you do. Just sayin'.
Artichoke Chicken Salad (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Saint Louis Souvenirs)
1 package chicken flavored Rice a Roni
1 – 12 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 large can large pitted black olives, roughly chopped
Cook Rice a Roni according to package directions and cool. Combine with artichoke hearts, green onions, green and red pepper and black olives and refrigerate until needed.
2/3 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons triple sec (optional)
1 habanero chopped pepper, seeds and veins removed
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and heat in the microwave until marmalade has melted and mixture is hot. Set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of mixture for salad dressing.
3 large chicken breasts washed and dried
Salt and pepper
Butter flavored cooking spray
Butterfly chicken breasts or pound to an even thickness. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides and spray liberally with cooking spray. Heat gas grill until very hot and carefully place chicken on grill. Lower temperature to medium low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip chicken over, cover and cook for additional 4 minutes. Brush chicken with glaze and cook for an additional minute or until chicken is done. Remove to a plate and refrigerate until cold.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons orange/habanero glaze
Mix ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.
To serve – pile salad on plate and arrange sliced chicken over top. Top with a couple of spoonfuls of the dressing. Serves 6 to 8.
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