Monday, March 24, 2008

Grilled Chicken and Tortellini Salad

This salad involves a few steps, but it is worth the effort! My husband enjoys it--it's a nice, cold salad option for a luncheon or dinner and is very filling. It is best fresh, but does keep in the refrigerator a few days for leftover purposes. The recipe says it serves 6; those are generous portions.

from Heart and Soul (a Memphis Junior League cookbook)

6 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
1 8-oz. bottle Italian salad dressing
12 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
12 sun-dried tomatoes, slivered
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place chicken in a plastic bag set into a shallow dish. Pour Italian salad dressing over chicken. Close bag. Marinate in refrigerator overnight, turning bag several times to distribute marinade.

2. Drain marinade. Place chicken on cooking grid. Grill, uncovered, directly over medium coals for 10-12 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through grilling time. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

3. Meanwhile, in a 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, cook fresh tortellini in 3 1/2 quarts boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. (Or, cook frozen tortellini according to package directions.) Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.

4. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, eggs, red pepper, tomatoes, salt, pepper, chicken, and tortellini; mix well. Add additional mayonnaise, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.

Makes 6 (generous) servings.

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