For the 4th – BBQ and pasta salad
AP Food Editor
Pasta salad and barbecued chicken are a natural pairing for July Fourth celebrations. They’re even better in the same dish.
This fast and easy take on pasta salad starts with a traditional base of pasta and diced vegetables. But instead of mayonnaise, which can be cloying, it is tossed with sour cream. Low-fat versions would be fine, but regular is best for unbeatable creamy richness.
The sour cream is the perfect foil for the vinegary chicken that gets tossed into the salad. The meat from a rotisserie chicken is tossed with bottled barbecue sauce spiked with lime juice and hot sauce. The result is creamy, sharp, soft and crunchy.
If you already are at the grill, you could skip the rotisserie chicken and just toss on a few chicken breasts. You’ll need about 1 pound of cooked chicken meat.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
1 pound bow tie or spiral pasta
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn kernels
21⁄2-pound rotisserie chicken
11⁄2 cups barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1⁄2 cup sour cream
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
4 tomatillos, chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. During the final 2 minutes, add the peas and corn, stirring to ensure they don’t clump together.
Drain the pasta mixture, rinsing it with cool water, then transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet. Spread it in an even layer to dry.
Meanwhile, pull apart the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones. Chop any large pieces into bite-size chunks. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, hot sauce and lime juice. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
In a second large bowl, combine the sour cream, pasta and vegetable mixture, celery, red onion, carrot and tomatillos. Toss well to coat. Fold in the chicken and cilantro, mixing until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 278 calories; 23 calories from fat; 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 49 g carbohydrate; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 882 mg sodium.