Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cold Pasta Salad with Roasted Chicken, Plums, Blue Cheese and Basil

From Tyler's Ultimate

Kosher salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound plums, halved and pitted
1 pound penne

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C EVOO
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of fresh chives, minced
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

1/4 pound crumbled blue cheese
Handful of whole fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 375. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.
Heat a 2-count of oil in a cast iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium heat until almost smoking. Sprinkle the chicken breast with a generous amount of salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, then flip the breasts and cook for 5 more minutes. Flip the breasts again, toss the pain in the oven, and roast for about 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you stick a small knife into the chicken. Meanwhile, toss the plums in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw them in with the chicken during the last 8 minutes of cooking. Take the chicken and plums out of the pan, cool slightly, then stick them both in the refrigerator to chill.
Meanwhile, when the pasta water comes to a boil, add the penne and give it a stir to keep the penne from sticking together. Boil for 8-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain in a colander and chill under cold running water. Drain again.
The last thing is to make the vinaigrette: whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and sugar in a large serving bowl. Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the herbs. Slice the chilled chicken and toss in the bowl along with the pasta, the blue cheese, and the basil leaves. Toss, and taste for seasoning. Mound on a plate with the plums alongside.

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