Monday, April 2, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Salad

Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Salad

2 cups quinoa (12.6 ounces)
3 cups water (24 ounces or 1:8.0 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (2.5 ounces)
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about one-half of a juicy lime)
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or to taste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
One-half of a store-bought rotisserie chicken (preferably Costco brand), discard skin, bones and visible fat, cut chicken meat into large chunks (about 12.5 ounces)
2 large shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup or 2.2 ounces)
2 to 3 slender stalks green onions, thinly sliced white and green portions (about 1/2 cup or 1.2 ounces)
1/2 cup fire roasted red peppers, chopped and drained (about 2 peppers or 3.6 to 4.0 ounces)
One 12-ounce jar Trader Joe's brand marinated artichoke hearts, drained, cut in half lengthwise, if artichokes are large
One 6-ounce can medium or large black olives, drained, cut in half crosswise, if using large size
One 4-ounce can Ortega brand fire roasted diced green chiles, drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (0.7 ounce)

Rinse quinoa well and drain. Bring water to a boil in a large-size saucepan. Add quinoa and lower heat to low heat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, ground chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and ground black pepper. Whisk together with a whisk or fork until emulsified. Set dressing aside.

In a separate very large mixing bowl, combined the quinoa, chicken meat, shallots, green onions, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, black olives and roasted green chiles. Add the entire dressing and toss gently with a large rubber spatula until thoroughly mixed. Add the cilantro and toss well. Ready to serve or transfer to a large airtight container and refrigerate..

Yields 4 to 6 servings

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