Chicken Salad with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing
3 - 3 1/2 pound whole chicken
Table salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 additional tablespoon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes , drained, rinsed, and minced
1 small clove garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 pound asparagus , trimmed of tough ends and cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped fresh basil
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (optional)
1/2 cup pine nuts , toasted
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Roast in a 375-degree oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 to 170 degrees, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. When cool, pull the meat off the bones in 2-inch shreds, discarding fat and sinew. Reserve 5 cups for this recipe; set the rest aside for another use. (The chicken can be roasted, shredded, and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
2. Puree 1/2 cup oil, vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in blender until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. (Dressing may be made ahead of time, covered, and refrigerated overnight. Whisk to recombine before using.)
3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke; add asparagus, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook until asparagus is browned and almost tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to plate to cool.
4. Add cooled asparagus and basil to vinaigrette; stir to combine. Add chicken and toss gently to combine; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and sprinkle with goat cheese, if using, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Pairs Well With
Don't dress the chicken when it's warm--it will absorb too much of the dressing. For even less fuss, use a fully cooked supermarket rotisserie chicken. This recipe is best served over salad greens.