Chicken, Broccoli, and Pasta Salad

Img_1362Last Sunday I was running around like a maniac working on the house. I barely had time to eat, let alone figure out what to make and then prepare it. Driving home from yet another trip to the hardware store, this dish occured to me. After grabbing some penne pasta and a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from the supermarket, I was able to make this in about 30 minutes.

I have begun to really like grilling the chicken for these sort of dishes. In the summer time it gets some of the heat out of the kitchen (yes, it is summer here in Arizona. The temperature is not too bad yet: the high today is expected to be only 100F.)

Chicken Broccoli, and Pasta Salad

2 bonless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb broccoli crowns
1 lb penne pasta
1/4 cup jullienned oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 cups grated parmigiano reggiano
4 scallions
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Grill the chicken breasts. Let them cool a little and then slice then into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cut the long slices in half. Trim the broccoli crowns into 1-inch florets. Discard the stems. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Blanch the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until tender but still crunchy. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.

Reusing the same water, boil the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking mix the oil and vinegar together in a small bowl. Slice the scallions crosswise into 1/8 inch thick discs.

When the pasta is done, remove fromm the water, drain, and rinse. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Add the chicken, tomatoes, broccoli, cheese, and scallions. Toss. Add the dressing and toss again. Serve warm.

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