May 20, 2014
By Buffy York
It is funny that this is one of my first posts because the main focus of this blog is not going to be food. At least I don’t think it will be. That being said, if I am famous for anything, and I am not, it would be my Chicken Pasta Salad recipe. I usually make it in large batches so I can divvy it up amongst my friends. I once used it as currency when my friend Lisa Flake‘s husband, Jared helped me change a flat tire. Lisa and Jared usually fight over it so I knew it would be a better payment than cash. My friend Jodi Benck paid me the highest compliment when she asked for this recipe to be included in a family cookbook she was publishing for her relatives. Jodi is an excellent cook and very protective of her own recipes so when my salad was to grace the same pages as her own prized dishes I felt like I had arrived. My disclaimer to you with every recipe I share is that I am not one to measure. That is why I am not a baker and have failed on more that one occasion attempting the French Macaron. Each measurement I give you is a guesstimate. I just keep adding ingredients until it tastes good to me. I usually tell people “this is a good batch” or “I couldn’t quite get this one right.” My food, like TJMaxx, is never the same place twice. If you don’t like an ingredient leave it out. Add what you think would make it better. This recipe as with all of my recipes has morphed from its original form. That is what makes it mine and that is what will make it yours.
Chicken Pasta Salad
8-12 oz of Orzo Pasta
2 T Olive Oil (I love Oli.O)
4 Chicken Breasts
1/4 C Red Wine VIneger
1 1/2 t Salt
1 Bunch of Celery
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Bunch of Green Onions
1 Large Jar of Chopped Pimentos
1/2 Cup of Flat Leaf Parsley
2 T Dried Dill
1/2 t Fresh Ground Pepper
1 t Celery Seed
1 t Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
1 C Duke’s Mayo
Juice of 1 Lemon
Place chicken in stock pot filled with water, bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer. Cooking the chicken on low will keep it tender. While chicken is cooking trim and chop celery leaves included (this is where all the flavor is), red bell pepper, green onions and parsley. Mix all the vegetables together in a large bowl with the pimentos. Take the chicken out of the water and place on a cutting board preferably with a well to catch juices. Cook the pasta in the chicken broth as directed on the label. While the pasta is cooking take a serrated knife and rough up the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, douse with vinegar and let that soak in. Drain the pasta and toss with the olive oil. While the pasta is cooling combine mayo, lemon juice, dill, pepper, celery seed, and Tony’s together in a smaller bowl. This is where you can play with your amounts. Cut up or pull your vinegar soaked chicken breasts and add chicken and pasta to the vegetables and mix well. Pour the dressing on the salad and toss.
June 10, 2014Jodi Benck
BEST chicken salad ever! Just reading this makes me crave it. And, I will say, as much as I cook, no one can makes this as good as you do Buff…must be that extra TLC.
June 11, 2014Buffy York
Thanks Jodi. I’m still waiting on my copy of your family’s cookbook!
June 11, 2014Heather Anthony
I think you have used it with currency for me before too.
June 11, 2014Buffy York
I’m sure of it!
June 17, 2014Marjorie
Oh YUM! This looks awesome. I live in Birmingham too. I am adding your blog to my reads! Hope you are having a great week.
June 17, 2014Buffy York
I am so glad you are adding us to your list. We are very new to this and would love any feedback you can give us. Right now our plan is to publish a post 3-4 times a week. If you like recipes I am posting my grandmother’s Shrimp Salad on Monday. It is a great summer recipe.
June 21, 2014Kim Finkelstein
All I can say is YUMMY!!! Just made this tonight and it is sooo good!! The flavor just screams Summertime. I am not even that good of a cook (one of those that needs step by step directions) but this was easy and again so YUMMY! If its not famous yet it soon will be:) Thank you for sharing.
June 21, 2014Buffy York
I am so glad you liked it and thanks for commenting Kimmie! I’m posting Grandmama’s shrimp salad recipe on Monday. Come to Macon on Wednesday and I will make you some. Miss seeing you.
April 30, 2015Carol de la Torre
Made your yummy salad tonight with LW’s help. Very delicious! Taking it on a mother/daughter weekend. Please share more recipes!
April 30, 2015Buffy York
So glad you like it. I made it this past weekend. It really is amazing! Totally worth all of the chopping.
July 6, 2016Marni Ulch
Buffy, I’ve held on to this recipe for two years and finally got around to making it last night (subbed a rotisserie chicken in for the chicken breasts and ditalini for the orzo because I was in a hurry and Western never has everything I need).
All I can say is OMG! One of the best chicken salads I’ve ever tried. The dil weed, red wine vinegar-saturated chicken, Tony’s, and celery seed make the best umami taste. Perfect bites, everytime.