Guillaume's Cooking: Chicken Quinoa Salad

Before we head into this absolutely delicious recipe, I would like to introduce our new monthly guest blogger: Guillaume! While he is a work colleague of mine, he's worked in restaurants for many years. So, I'm sure he'll bring some great insight into the art of cooking! :) One of his recipes will be featured every second wednesday of every month. So make sure to check in! Welcome Guillaume!

This is one of my simple “go-to” dish I do very often as it requires very little preparation and it is enjoyed by all of my friends. If you wish to save a bit of time during the preparation, you can easily replace the tomato sauce by sun-dried tomato pesto or regular pesto. This dish incorporates many elements of a Greek salad with the feta bringing all components of the dish together with its saltiness and creaminess. The richness of the roasted pine nuts accentuates the texture of the quinoa. The use of quinoa instead of pasta keeps the dish light and fresh.

25 to 30 minutes

  • 2 chicken breasts (diced)
  • 1 Lemon or lime
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • ½ cup of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • ½ cup of water

Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped white onion
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts

  • ¼ cup of finely chopped red pepper
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup of finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup of feta (crumbled)

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a plastic bag and add the juice from one lemon or lime. Add the cinnamon and bit of salt and pepper to taste. (the cinnamon can be replaced by oregano, thyme, cumin, or any other combination of spices you may enjoy). Vacuum seal the bag and place in the refrigerator while cutting the vegetables.
  2.  In a saucepan, boil water and blanche the tomatoes for five minutes. Remove the skin and dice the tomatoes. Keep some of the liquid used to blanche the tomatoes in a cup.
  3. In another saucepan, bring to boil ½ cup of water and ½ cup of stock. Incorporate the quinoa and cook on medium heat, stirring intermittently, until all the liquid has evaporated. Let the quinoa cool for 5 minutes.
  4.  In the saucepan used to blanche the tomatoes, combine a bit of oil and add the finely chopped white onions and garlic. Add the diced tomatoes, the oregano, and some salt and pepper to taste. Let the onions, garlic and tomatoes reduce at medium heat stirring once in while. As the tomatoes, onions and garlic reduce, add some of the liquid used to blanche the tomatoes as needed to help build the sauce base. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Lightly roast the pine nuts in a pan. In a blender, incorporate the tomato sauce and half of the roasted pine nuts. Blend until the texture of the sauce is nice and smooth. Let the sauce sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Cook the chicken in a pan or on the barbecue. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before dicing it.
  7.  In a bowl, combine the quinoa and tomato sauce, the rest of the pine nuts, the vegetables, the feta and the chicken.
  8. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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