I know what you’re thinking, what’s with all the Italian dishes?? You DO have a point. So, this one will be the last Italian dish for a little while. (At least until the grocery store has Buy One Get One Free pasta again!)
Since the weather outside has been spring-like here, I decided to have a cool dish for dinner. If you’re still in the throes of winter, then maybe wait until warmer temps for this.
This is a quick one. I clocked in at 5:56 when I snapped the pic of all the ingredients, and we were sitting down to eat at 6:27.
Here’s the ingredient list:
1 Rotisserie Chicken (cold)
1 Box of Rotini Pasta
1 Bag of Broccoli Florets (Steam in Bag variety.) OR 1 Box of Frozen Broccoli Pieces
20 Slices of turkey pepperoni
1/2 Bottle of salad dressing
3 tbs Bacon Bits
3 tbs Shredded Parmesan
3 tbs Salad Toppings
(optional but delicious) 1 can of Breadstick dough.
First things first! Preheat the oven for the breadsticks. Mine was 375 but other dough might differ. Seriously, check the can.
While the oven is heating, put your water on to boil. I’ve said this before, but make sure you pick a big enough pan for PASTA-SWELLAGE!
(Crude remark in 3…2…1…) You wouldn’t want to pop a boner and run out of skin, so don’t run out of pan. (You were warned.)
Okay, oven is warming and water is getting hot. Good. But we aren’t done, yet!
Take the breadsticks and put them on the pan. Set the pan aside until the oven tells you it’s hot. If you have time, slice up your pepperoni into thin strips…like this:
Water have little bubbles in it? Gooood. That’s water’s way of saying “PUT SOME PASTA IN ME!”
What are you waiting for? Dump the box o’ pasta into the water.
Oven tell you it’s hot yet? If so, put the bread in. (Follow instructions on can…and, this is important, SET. A. TIMER.)
Still no fires and blood? AWESOME! Let’s kick this into high gear now.
Put the bag of broccoli into the microwave. (Make sure it’s a steam-in-bag variety. If not, then you can use the box o’ frozen.)
Stir your pasta to make sure it’s not sticking together.
De-bone half of the chicken. Don’t be afraid, just get in there with your bare hands and rip the meat offa them bones! (Another reason we use a cold chicken.) It’s not very often that we guys get to be guys and act like cave men. Now, is your chance to shine! Hell, grunt and make Tim Allen noises while you do it! Mom won’t care, you’re cooking dinner! And the kids just might have some fun too.
Now…you wait. Shouldn’t be too long. Get a strainer while you are waiting and put it in the sink. Put your broccoli in the strainer.
Check your pasta. Once it’s done to your liking, drain it into the strainer in the sink. Rinse it with cold tap water to stop the cooking process. This will also serve to cool everything down a bit, too.
Take a large mixing bowl. Mix in the pasta and broccoli, chicken, pepperoni, parmesan cheese, bacon bits, and salad crunchies. Mix in the dressing.
(Side Note: I used a Greek Vinaigrette, but Italian dressing works great too. This is a personal taste thing. Caesar, Creamy Caesar…Ranch…whatever your family likes.)
I used about a half a bottle overall. But I also like mine with more dressing on it. So, pour a little and mix, pour a little and mix, until you get the flavor you like.
Okay, once you have everything mixed up in the bowl it should look something like this:
The rest is just dishing it up and handing it out.
I know what you’re thinking…but I have a 1/2 a chicken leftover in the fridge. Tomorrow night, I’ll show you how to make a super simple Tortilla Soup with it!