The chicken should
be marinated for at least an hour, though overnight would be even better.
In a bowl that will fit the chicken and has a cover, mix the ITALIAN
DRESSING BASE with water. Let stand while rinsing the chicken and
cutting off any bits you donít approve of (remember, boning and skinning
your own chicken is easy, saves money, and makes for great chicken soup
later). Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl, whisk to blend,
add chicken breasts and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate
for at least an hour before grilling. To prepare the pasta salad, bring
a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta, and a smaller pot of water
to a boil for the broccoli. While the water is coming to a boil, cut the
broccoli stems off and quarter the floret so they are in bite-sized pieces.
Leave an inch or so of stem attached, set aside. In a bowl large enough
to hold the pasta, mix 4 TB. CREAMY
PEPPERCORN SALAD DRESSING BASE in 4 TB. water, let stand a few minutes.
Add the rest of the dressing ingredients, whisk until smooth.
Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta to the water, boil according
to package directions. Wagon wheels can be a bit tricky, it is hard to
get them just perfect. It is better to under-cook them slightly - sitting
in the dressing will soften them just a bit. Drain and rinse the pasta
to cool, then mix with the dressing. Add the broccoli to the smaller pot
of boiling water, cook 2-3 minutes, depending on how big the broccoli
is cut. The only way to know for sure is to fish one out and taste it
- it isnít done if itís crunchy. Rinse the broccoli, add to the salad
and toss. The salad can be prepared ahead to this point, just cover and
refrigerate. A few hours in the refrigerator actually adds to the flavor.
To grill the chicken, start a nicely packed single layer of coals, wait
15-20 minutes, until they are ashy grey. When you start the coals, remove
the pasta salad from the fridge so it isnít totally cold at service time.
When the coals are ready rearrange them a bit so you have a hotter and
cooler spot on the grill. Remove the breasts from the marinade and discard
the marinade. Place the breasts on the grill, sear on both sides over
the hotter section of coals, then move to the cooler side for 6-8 minutes,
flipping once. Any chicken piece that doesnít seem crispy enough for your
taste can be returned to the hotter side of the grill for a minute or
two. Since the chicken cooks so quickly, it should be watched over. Grab
something to drink and regard it as a nice outdoor break. Put the chicken
on a platter and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Divide the salad between
6 dinner plates. Ring each salad with cut cherry tomatoes. To serve the
breasts, cut against the grain (see photo), then put it back together
on top of the pasta. Have a pepper grinder on the table and maybe a bowl
of shredded parmesan or romano.
Yield: 6 servings.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes or so total.