California Wild Rice And Chicken Salad
Contributed by: NAPSA
Amazing, But True...California Produces Most Of
America's Wild Rice (NAPSA) - When you think of wild rice, you probably think of Native
Americans and birch-bark canoes, but think again. California is a significant producer of wild rice
and has been for over 20 years. In fact, California makes up over half of the U.S. production of
wild rice, boasting some 10.5 million pounds of the gourmet grain finished product produced last
year. Wild rice in California is harvested with state-of-the-art equipment, unlike the
hand-harvested methods still in use in some areas today. It is high quality, convenient, easy to
prepare and versatile.
Low in fat, sweetly nutty and deliciously chewy, California grown wild rice is a natural in
one of this season's most popular dishes-salads. Check out the following elegant example. The
striking black and cream-colored grains are tossed with a tangy dressing and three more stars of
California's springtime bounty-asparagus, snow peas and spring mix. Paired with juicy herbed
chicken breasts, this is a lovely salad for a bridal shower, luncheon or patio supper.
- 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup (8 oz.) California wild rice
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (13/4 to 2 lb. total)
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 pound snow peas, strings removed, halved
- 1/4 pound spring mix or other lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
For the dressing, whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, shallots, mustard, and salt to taste until
smooth. Set aside or, if making ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days. Stir well before using.
Place walnuts in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Shake or stir often until nuts are
toasted, about 5 minutes. Pour from pan and set aside. (Nuts may be toasted up to 1 day ahead.
Store airtight until serving time). In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine broth and wine. Bring to a boil
over high heat. Add wild rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Uncover and boil off any remaining liquid. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
(Rice may be cooked up to 1 day ahead. Cover and chill until ready to use).
Place chicken in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Stir together sour cream, tarragon, and chives.
Spread mixture evenly over chicken. Bake in a 350¡ oven until chicken is no longer pink in
thickest part (cut to test), about 25 minutes. While chicken bakes, bring about 2 quarts of water
to a boil in a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat. Add asparagus and snow peas; cook just until they
turn bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and immediately rinse vegetables in cold water until cool.
Drain well. In a large bowl, combine wild rice, asparagus, snow peas, and spring mix. Add
dressing and mix well. Divide salad among 4 serving plates. Cut chicken diagonally into slices and
arrange next to salad. Garnish with toasted walnuts.
Serving Size: Makes 4 servings.