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Salad dressing is not just for lettuce, as this recipe proves. Boneless, skinless breasts are marinated in ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING, which makes them very juicy when grilled, and are served on top of a bed of pasta and broccoli coated with CREAMY PEPPERCORN SALAD DRESSING. What a nice lunch for a party, or a perfect Summer dinner.

  • 6 pieces boneless/skinless chicken breast (3 whole chicken breasts - split, skinned, boned)
  • 16 oz. bag dry pasta (we used wagon wheels for sheer festiveness)
  • 1 lb. broccoli - 2-3 large pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered

Dressing for Chicken:

  • 2 TB. water
  • 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 Cup white vinegar
  • 2 TB. Dijon style prepared mustard (we used Country French which has a grainier texture)

Dressing for Pasta:

  • 4 TB. water
  • 1 Cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/4 Cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 TB. hone

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.

Italian Vinegar and Oil 3.1 oz. 1/2 cup jar
Creamy Peppercorn 2.5 oz. 1/2 cup jar

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