Pasta bows taste deliciously different when combined with an exotic dressing of fish sauce, fresh red chilli and rice vinegar in a moist chicken salad. Fresh crunchy vegetables complete this well-balanced main-course dish.
500g chicken breast fillets
2 lemon or lime slices
1 tablespoon Chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry
300g farfalle (pasta bows)
1 large carrot, cut into matchstick strips
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
2 sticks celery, cut into matchstick strips
1/2 large cucumber, halved, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar, cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-salt soy sauce
1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
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Place the chicken breasts in a large shallow pan and pour over enough water to cover them. Add the lemon or lime slices and the rice wine or sherry, and heat until just simmering. Reduce the heat and poach the chicken for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and cover the pan, then leave the chicken to cool completely in the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water for about 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Set the pasta aside until cool.
Place the carrot, capsicum, celery and cucumber in a large salad bowl. To make the dressing, mix together the fish sauce and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then add the vinegar, soy sauce, chilli and garlic. Pour the dressing over the raw salad vegetables.
Drain the cooled chicken and pat dry on paper towel, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir the chicken and pasta into the vegetables. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.
The combination of raw carrots, capsicum and celery makes this salad an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C.