Chicken Club Pasta Salad
Affordable Meals,  boneless skinless chicken thighs,  Chicken,  Cold Salad,  For Cheese Lovers,  Pasta

Economical Chicken Club Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad shouldn’t coast you $30 dollars to make, but sometimes it does. A lot of chicken club pasta recipes call for most or all of a pack of bacon. $8. Then they call for chicken breasts. $8. Meunster cheese. At least $5 probably more. Zoinks! At least red bell peppers are cheap. Wait, what?!

So let’s cut about $10 off the total by using salt pork instead of bacon, thighs instead of breasts and sharp cheddar instead of meunster. If you can score the chicken and cheese when they are BOGO, you are doing even better! (Same goes for the pasta and olive oil!) Maybe I should call this the BOGO Chicken Club Pasta Salad. I’ll think about it.

Although not usually that pricey – we’re making our own salad dressing instead of bottled; avoiding soybean oil and lots of sketchiness.

I’m not that experienced with salt pork. I soaked it, then fried it like bacon. Took for-EV-er and man, talk about splatter! And some how I overcooked it. Parts were chewy, parts were like rocks. We agreed it tasted great, though. So in the instructions here we have the standard boil in water for 10 minutes.

Economical Chicken Club Pasta Salad (BOGO Salad)

Delightfully tasty comfort dish that will leave you some of your paycheck left over.
Prep Time2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken club pasta salad
Servings: 6 skinny people
Author: Kenny MacKenzie

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black peper
  • 1 tsp southern poultry seasoning

Salad

  • 1 lb dried pasta like shells or elbows
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese cubed to same size as pasta
  • 2 plum tomatoes seeded and chopped to same size as pasta
  • 1/2 red or orange bell pepper diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery diced
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill minced

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise (I use olive oil kind)
  • 1/2 large lemon – juiced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano (not ground)

Instructions

  • Place salt pork in medium size pot and cover with water by an inch or more. Soak for at least an hour. Drain water and recover with fresh water. Allow pork to soak at least one more hour.
  • About 15 minutes before pork is done soaking, preheat oven to 425° F. Place chicken in an oven-safe glass baking dish.
  • Drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil over breasts. Season with salt, pepper & poultry seasoning.
  • Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until chicken reaches 165° F in the thickest parts.
  • While chicken is cooking – get pasta water started. While you wait, put salt pork pot on stove and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • When pasta water boils, cook pasta for time on box for al dente firmness. 
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. When pasta is ready – drain. Do not rinse! When drained place pasta in single layer on the parchment sheet pan to air dry and cool.
  • Dice veggies while the pasta cools.
  • In a medium-small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, honey and the lemon juice. Add the salt, pepper and seasonings. Whisk until emulsified. Set aside.
  • Chop cooked salt pork into small pieces.
  • When ready – put pasta in a big bowl. Add the dressing and stir to coat. Add the remaining ingredients, including the dill. Stir well but gently to not break up the pasta or tomatoes. 
  • Chill for at least one hour (I used the freezer for about 30-40 minutes). Serve it up! We made grilled cheese with ours. I know!

Recommended cooking music: George Benson “Shape of Things to Come”.

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