Once again Mother Nature was at it here in the mid-west! It snowed on Saturday!!!!!! And I mean enough for the weather service to issue a Winter Storm Warning!!! I will not be dissuaded from making Spring salads. Orange Chicken Orzo Salad was born on a snowy April day!
All of this cruddy weather has made it hard to get in the Springtime mode. Anything too complicated is just too complicated!! This salad is crazy easy.
Orzo is one of my favorite kinds of pasta that I always forget about. This time I remembered. DeLallo has a perfect whole wheat orzo that lends a slightly nutty flavor to Orange Chicken Orzo Salad.
Boil and cool the pasta, then add shredded rotisserie chicken, sliced green onions, dried pineapple, and orange sections. Toasted almonds lend crunch.
Orange is the flavor de jour for the dressing. Both zest and juice give the dressing a bright citrus flavor. Garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar and a pinch of red blended with olive oil makes a zippy little dressing. The dressing may seem like a lot, but the orzo will absorb all that zippy citrus flavor.
Make it taste like Spring even if Mother Nature is not cooperating… Orange Chicken Orzo Salad will give you a bright spot on a dreary day!!!
P.S. Although it is not in the recipe or the pictures, I added feta cheese to the leftovers, and it was fabulous!!!Print
1 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo pasta (I used DeLallo brand)
½ cup almonds, toasted
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken from the deli)
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup dried pineapple
Zest of one orange
Juice from one orange
2 oranges cut into sections and cutting each section in half
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 medium clove garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large pot of salted water boiling water add the orzo and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, and rinse cooked orzo under cold running water until the orzo is cooled, drain well.
In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked orzo, chicken, almonds, parsley, green onion, dried pineapple, and orange sections.
In a blender or small bowl, combine the orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt. Blend/Whisk until blended adding the reserved pasta water to the desired consistency.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Season with pepper, to taste.
Let the orzo salad rest for at least 10 minutes to soak up the dressing.
Adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve. Garnish with additional toasted almonds, orange zest, and parsley if desired.
Add feta cheese for extra zip!
Keywords: rotisserie chicken, orzo pasta, green onion, orange, dried pineapple, easy, salad,