The other night Adam handed me a photo copy from a magazine from 1983 and asked me if this week I could make one of his childhood favorites for dinner. You know, no pressure or anything. It's just one of his favorite things his Mom used to make.
So I did. And I was nervous. I once took a few liberties on another of his mother's famous recipes and NO YOU DIDN'T THAT IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE IT, EVERYTHING IS ALL WRONG AND WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. Ok, he didn't actually say that, but it sure felt like that as I watched him take his first bite.
I would like to cut to the chase and say it was amazing, I did not ruin it, and everyone was thrilled. And because of this, I have removed the 1983-isms from this recipe and am going to share it with you.
So you too can eat this amazingness.
Party Pasta Salad – Or the better named, Jones Family Chicken Pasta Salad
- 1 rotisserie chicken – put it in the fridge until cold before using
- 6ish cloves of garlic (depending on how much garlic you enjoy)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 box of corkscrew pasta
- olive oil
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing – We use Martin Hotel Salad dressing because it is the best dressing in the land
- 2 large carrots – thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/2 pound mushrooms – buy a pre sliced box
- 1/2 small bunch of broccoli cut into 1-2" pieces
- 1/2 small head of cauliflower separated into floret's
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
*Makes about 6 servings for about 655 calories per serving
- Take your rotisserie chicken, now cold, and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Either remove, or use the skin, depending on preference.
- Prepare the pasta as directed, drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
- In a large frying pan or Dutch oven, add olive oil, and cook the garlic, onion, and carrots until they are tender-crisp – about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasional. Season with salt and pepper. When tender-crisp, remove from pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
- In the same pan/Dutch oven, add another dash of olive oil, and cook the mushrooms until tender – about 5-8 minutes, string occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. When done, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the carrots.
- In the same pan/Dutch oven, add another dash of olive oil, add broccoli, cauliflower and green onions. Stir until coated in the olive oil, and add a 1/4 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. When done, remove with slotted spoon. Discard any remaining liquid in the pan/Dutch oven.
- Here is where things get tricky. Get the largest bowl or pot you have on hand. Place the pasta, all the cooked vegetables, and the chicken in the same bowl, and mix. Add the soy sauce, 1/3 – 1/2 a cup of your Italian dressing (more or less for your taste preference), and salt and pepper to taste. Mix, and mix, and mix until all the pasta is coated.
- Best if returned to the fridge and served 2+ hours later.
And there you have it! You've now made a mountain of goodness that is a perfect midweek meal. Served cold it's a refreshing, delicious dinner!