Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad
1 box spiral noodles, gluten free
1/2 lb bacon
1 1lb chicken, cooked, cooled and shredded
8 mini carrots
1/2 bell pepper
2 tomatoes
4 green onions
1 cup corn
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Slice the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Fry until crispy and remove to paper towels to cool. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package says (mine said boil 8-12 minutes, I boiled for 7 minutes.)
Slice the carrots, dice the bell pepper, slice the tomato into bite size pieces and thinly slice the green onion.
When the pasta is done cooking, immediately strain and then put the pasta into a bowl of cold water, adding ice (this step is important to keep the pasta from continuing to cook and becoming mush). Let cool.
Make the dressing by mixing the ranch dressing powder with the mayo, milk, and sour cream. Let stand for a few minutes to thicken.
When all ingredients are cooled down, gently toss them all in a large bowl, folding in the dressing and being careful about the pasta. Serve immediately.
I saw a friend making pasta salad the other day and haven't stopped thinking about it, it looked sooo good. I personally have never tried making one before now. Can I tell you that this was delicious? Maybe it's because of the bacon, but I loved it, my husband loved it, my kids loved it (mostly, I mean it does have vegetables).
The ingredients complemented each other nicely, although it was just what I happened to have on hand. I'm sure most veggies would go good in here. The dressing was an experiment, and turned out well, although you could thicken or thin it to your liking.
The most important step would be to make sure your pasta stops cooking immediately, hence the ice water bath. The pasta I used was just a rice spiral and so I was worried about it being obliterated in all the prep, but it held up well. I can't vouch for leftovers though, as we had none.