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Chicken Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta

Chicken Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: salad
  • Method: boiled, poached
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, divided (5 fluid ounces)

1 pound chicken tenderloins

Poaching liquid

2 cups chicken stock

2 quarts of water, divided

½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed

Salad ingredients

12 ounces dry farfalle pasta, also called bow tie pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes, each cut in half

3 cups fresh arugula packed, about 3 ounces in weight

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled and divided


Instructions

Make the Lemon Vinaigrette, see recipe here, and set aside.

Remove the tendons from the chicken tenderloins and trim any connecting tissue.

In a 4–5-quart pot, place chicken stock, one quart of the water, black peppercorns, thyme sprigs and garlic.

Bring to a boil, add all of the chicken, remove from heat and cover. The chicken will poach in the hot liquid off-heat for between 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the tenders. After five minutes, slip one out and pull apart to check the center. If still pink, continue to let the chicken sit for another minute or two. Do not leave the chicken in the hot liquid any longer than it needs to poach.

Use tongs to remove the chicken tenders to a platter and immediately refrigerate uncovered to cool down. Once cool, shred with your fingers and set aside.

Do not discard the poaching liquid. Place a fine sieve over a bowl or pitcher and pour the poaching liquid through and discard the solids.

Place the liquid back into the pot and add the second quart of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms on top.

Add the pasta and cook just shy of done. The pasta will slowly cool down and continue to cook a little bit as it cools. Pour the pasta into a colander to drain.

Pour the drained pasta into a large bowl and add half of the vinaigrette and toss. Then using a rubber spatula, scrap onto a sheet tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes. As the pasta cools, it will absorb the dressing.

After 30 minutes, scrape the pasta back into the bowl and add the cooked chicken, tomatoes, arugula and thyme. Pour in the remaining dressing and toss.

Add 2/3 of the crumbled feta and toss again then pour into a serving bowl or platter.

Top with the remaining crumbled feta cheese and serve.

Can be served warm, room temperature or chilled.


Keywords: Chicken Pasta Salad with Arugula and Feta