Chicken with Dried Cherries Pasta Salad

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I am a big believer in bringing lunch to work.  Buying lunch every day, or even some days seems like a big waste of money to me.  But, on occasion, I do forget to bring my lunch.  Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, there is a D'Amico and Son's Restaurant down the hall from my office.  I think overall their food is good but very over priced.  We always laugh when we walk by the sign that says "affordable fare" I'm sure.  $12 for a 1/2 of a tiny sandwich and salad.  Rip. Off.

But, I did discover that I love their Turkey with Dried Cherries Pasta Salad one fateful day when I forgot my lunch.  So many textures and flavors to appreciate.  I did some research and found a copy cat recipe that I of course modified.

I wasn't sure how to prepare the turkey.  I really wanted to roast a turkey breast but takes a lot of time.  I ended up up using a rotisserie chicken.  Next time, I will plan ahead and use a roasted turkey breast.  But the chicken was pretty tasty--I love using rotisserie chicken!

This is a quick and simple salad if you buy the chicken or turkey already cooked.  Here we go!

Musical Selection: Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson
Start by cooking your noodles according to the directions.  Make sure not to over cook the pasta--it really is key.  Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. I went with the Orecchiette pasta for tonight.  I love these little guys.  Their name means little ears...I totally learned that at the Olive Garden.
Next you can start making the dressing.  Super easy, incorporate the mayo, powdered sugar, vinegar, poppy seeds, ground mustard, salt and pepper.  I like to make my dressing as far ahead of time as I can.  It gives the ingredients a chance to get to know each other better and develop its own flavor.
Next you can chop your scallions (green onion) and dice the celery.
Mix the onions, celery, dried cherries (I used Craisin dried cherries), pasta and almonds together.

Then mix with the dressing.  You might not use all of the dressing so don't just dump it in.  As the pasta salad sits it will absorb more dressing so if you have left over dressing you may want to think about keeping it in the refrigerator for the next day to moisten your pasta salad.
So tasty...sweet, sour, salty, peppery amazing!!!!
The perfect bite.


1 pound Pasta (any variety)
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup celery
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4-1/2 cup dried cherries
4 scallions
1 cup mayo
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons poppyseeds
1/2 teaspoon dried ground mustard
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Baby spinach for serving (optional)


Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Drain in cold water and allow to cool further.

Chop celery, dice scallions, and chop chicken or turkey into bite sized pieces.  Mix these together with almonds and dried cherries.

Combine the dressing: mayo, vinegar, powdered sugar, poppy seeds, ground mustard, salt and pepper.

Dress salad.  Use sparingly and stir to coat.  The pasta will absorb additional dressing as it sits.  Keep unused dressing in refrigerator to use the day after if desired.

Serve on a bed of baby spinach.


Adapted from: Here

Guess what's coming to lunch with me tomorrow--get a load of this D'Amico's!  : )

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