So… yesterday, we had the beginning of a Doris Project post featuring a macaroni and chicken salad; but, while I was filled with concern about the sheer amount of macaroni the good folk at Creamettes pasta called for, I never quite got around to assembling, and then tasting, the salad.
Well, I am here to tell you now that, yes, there is waaay too much macaroni involved – mebbe cut that in half – but that the salad is very nice indeed, and I will happily make it again.
First things first, let’s discuss the pasta situation.
The original recipe called for using one pound (!) of macaroni. I opted for the 12 ounce box of high-fiber pasta shown here, and that was really too much. Unless you are planning a pitch-in supper or feeding ravaging hordes (kinda the same thing, really, if you think about it); do yourself a favor and cut back on the pasta. A half box would’ve been ample for this salad.
Next, there’s the honey mustard.
The original recipe called for using one, eight ounce jar of dressing. Well, my own home made honey mustard dressing is a lot better than store bought, and wicked simple to make, too. Good thing, because you’re gonna want at least 16 ounces of dressing to make this salad the right way (especially if you use all that pasta). Here’s the details:
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing:
•1 cup mayonnaise
•1/2 cup yellow mustard
•1/2 cup honey
•2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
•1/4 tsp celery salt
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
Combine all the salad dressing ingredients together in a blender or using an immersion blender, then stash in the fridge until needed. This double batch will yield a pint and a bit extra, which’ll work out perfectly.
I stirred a half pint of the dressing into the cooked macaroni and let it rest in the fridge overnight. The pasta soaked up the dressing – and the flavor – and made for an overall better salad in the end.
I added the second half pint of dressing to the chicken, mandarin oranges, and blanched broccoli in a bowl and stashed that in the fridge to chill and allow the flavors to blend.
You begin, I think, to see the enormity of this salad.
I have a lot of serving and/or salad bowls, but even I would be hard pressed to come up with one large enough to toss all that pasta with the chicken mixture.
I chose to take half of the honey mustard dressed macaroni and toss it with the (also) honey mustard dressed chicken and veggies.
Nice, and even though I’d used that whole pint of dressing between the two parts of the salad, I thought it could use a bit more. Good thing that double batch of honey mustard made a bit more than a pint – I drizzled the remainder over the pasta and chicken mixture, added one half of a sweet onion, diced, and a couple of celery stalks, also diced, then tossed it all well to combine.
I arranged some chopped Romaine on dinner plates, topped it with the macaroni chicken salad, and added some garlic pumpernickel croutons on top.
We did add a bit of freshly ground black pepper on top, and I might add some dried cherries next time, but really, this is a keeper of a salad.
Of course, the other half of that honey mustard steeped macaroni in the fridge, and no pitch-in dinners on the immediate horizon. Mebbe I should go in search of ravaging hoardes…