Summer Chicken and Rice Salad

     One of the tasty sides at our GNO last week was the rice salad that M brought.  I am not sure where she got the recipe, but it was one of those dishes that you can’t forget.  I know.  Rice salad?  Unforgettable?  Surprising, but true to such an extent that when I was at a loss for what to make for dinner last night, inspiration in the form of her rice salad hit.  It easily converted into a delicious main course salad with chicken pulled from a grocery store prepared roaster.

     I call it a summer salad because one of the key ingredients is fresh corn.  Its lightly cooked sweetness infuses the whole salad.  As I have previously mentioned about corn, I can’t imagine that flavor would come through with frozen, canned or dried-out winter corn. 

     This salad may seem a little starchy with the combination of rice and corn.  Fortunately the fluffy and dry basmati rice called for in the recipe has a lower glycemic index than other rices, and brown basmati is even lower.  Substituting 5 ounces of baby spinach for the bunch of watercress in M’s recipe bumps up the healthy factor.  Here’s my version.

  • 2¼ cups of water or chicken broth
  • 1½ cup basmati rice (I used Texmati)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large ears fresh corn
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 5-6 ounces baby spinach, washed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Bring water to a boil, then add rice.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes without stirring.

Mix together red wine vinegar and next two ingredients in a jar and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Shuck corn and cut kernels off cobs.  Saute kernels and red onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat about 5 minutes.

When rice and corn are done, place rice in a large serving bowl, then add spinach.  Top with corn mixture and mix together to just warm the spinach.  Add chicken and pecans, then toss the whole salad with the red wine dressing.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 main course salads.

     Thanks for the recipe revelation, M.  Starting with the key ingredients of rice, corn mixture and dressing, you can easily adapt this salad to include your family’s favorites.  When dinner makes my family happy, then I am a happy mom!  I’ll bet this salad makes you and yours happy, too.

All photos by Avad Fan.

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3 Comments on “Summer Chicken and Rice Salad”

  1. Laura Richardson says:

    This sounds wonderful!
    I’m going to make it tonight… I have some chicken left over from last night!
    Thanks!
    Laura


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