We've based this salad very loosely on paella, the Spanish rice dish — and you can actually make it with rice if you like. Our choice, though, is orzo, the tiny rice-shaped pasta. The cooking instructions are the same whichever you choose.

ingredients

  • For the vegetables:
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • For the meat:
  • 6 ounces dried chorizo sausages or other firm spicy sausage such as pepperoni, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • For Pasta:
  • 1/2 pound orzo (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

directions

FOR THE VEGETABLES: In a large frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes.

FOR THE MEAT: Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, paprika, chicken, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is almost done, about 3 minutes. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Steam the chicken for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large glass or stainless steel bowl to cool.

FOR THE PASTA: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.

TO SERVE: Add the drained orzo to the chicken mixture. Toss with the lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, the tomato and the parsley.

Tip: WINE RECOMMENDATION:
 Paella's Iberian roots lead us to Spain for a red Ribera del Duero. The name, literally translated as the "slopes along the Duero River," describes an area that is now the source of some of Spain's greatest red wines. Ribera del Duero's wild-cherry, herb and spice flavors will be superb with this salad.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 2905

nutrition information per serving

665 calories; 31g total fat; 103mg cholesterol; 1338mg sodium; 50g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 45g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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