Friday, May 30, 2014

Warm Chicken and Rice Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans

Sometimes for lunch I want something warm instead of another turkey sandwich (I get in a rut and eat a lot of turkey sandwiches). Enter this chicken and rice salad tossed with potatoes, green beans, tangy feta cheese, briny capers, and a bright red wine vinaigrette. It's warm and satisfying but not too heavy. It would also be perfect for a light summer dinner served on the back porch with a chilled bottle of rose wine. After all, most things are made better when served out on the back porch with a chilled bottle of rose! Here's to looking forward to the long summer evenings that are right around the corner!
Serves 4

1/2 cup rice or rice and red quinoa blend (I used Rice Select Royal Blend with light brown rice, red quinoa, and freekeh)
~2 cups water, divided
1 Tb butter
4-6 small multi-color new potatoes, washed and diced
1/4 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 10 oz can chunk chicken breast in water, drained 
(feel free to substitute grilled chicken breast or rotisserie chicken)
1 1/2 Tb red wine vinegar
1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
3 Tb olive oil
2 tsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
~3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper

In a saucepan, add 1 cup water, 1 Tb butter, and 1/2 cup Rice Select Royal Blend (or any rice or rice blend) along with a good pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, and give it a stir. Cover and reduce heat, and let the rice blend simmer for 18 minutes (for a different rice blend, cook according to package directions).

In a separate saucepan, add the diced potatoes, enough water to cover them by about 1/2 inch, and about 1 tsp salt, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce to a low boil and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife. About 5 minutes into the cooking process, toss in the green beans. Drain when done.

While the rice and vegetables cook, whisk together the red wine vinegar, the dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper until the salt is dissolved. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the vinegar and mustard mixture, whisking continuously to emulsify. Finally, stir in the capers. 

When the rice, potatoes, and green beans are cooked, toss them with the chunk chicken meat, the vinaigrette, and the feta cheese. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

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