Toasted Sesame Chicken Pasta

Friday 1 August 2014

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This is an incredibly delicious chicken salad, with a wonderful oriental style dressing and plenty of colour and crunch!  


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I just wish it photographed as beautifully as it tastes!  The flavours are phenomenal!  The chicken is moist and tender, having been quickly poached in some stock with a bit of garlic.  You allow it to cool in the stock, and so it holds in all that moisture and flavour.   You quite simply shred and tear it with a couple of forks when done so that you end up with plenty of texture.  

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The green beans add plenty of colour and crunch to the dish.  They have such a mild flavour that doesn't jar with the dressing.  You could also use asparagus if you wanted to be really fancy! 

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The toasted sesame dressing is just wonderful . . .  with the flavors of orange, and garlic, soy, sesame, ginger . . .  just a bit of sweet and sour . . .  but not so much that it takes over.  It's really just a really decent blend of flavors, nothing cloying or overpowering . . . 

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I have to say however . . .  the candied pecans are absolutely stunning in this. I could just sit and eat them all on their own, but don't do that.   They add such a wonderful depth of flavor and crunch to the salad.  This is the PERFECT salad to serve to the ladies who lunch!  

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It may look like a lot of work, but trust me, it really isn't, especially if you spread out the steps over a couple of days.  The chicken can be poached ahead and the pecans candied.  You can even make the dressing ahead of time.  Just be sure to give it a good shake prior to using.   With all of those steps taken care of ahead of time, all you will need to do on the day is cook the pasta and green beans!  Even the so called pasta hating Todd enjoyed this!  

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*Toasted Sesame Chicken Pasta*
Serves 4 generously
This might seem like a lot of work, but if you take the time the day before to make the candied pecans, cook the chicken and toast the sesame seeds, it will go together in a flash!

For the chicken:
3 pounds of chicken tenders (I like to trim mine, removing that
tough tendon and discarding it)
Chicken stock to cover
a clove of garlic crushed

For the candied pecans:
175g of soft light brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
110g of butter, melted (1/2 cup)
240g of shelled pecan nuts (2 cups)

For the dressing:
90g of orange marmalade (1/2 cup)
110ml of toasted sesame oil (1/2 cup)
110ml of rice wine vinegar (1/2 cup)
80ml of soy sauce (1/3 cup)
80ml of Worcestershire sauce (1/3 cup)
2 TBS lemon juice
 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
4 TBS toasted sesame seeds
salt and black pepper to taste

You will also need:
1 pound of pasta shapes (Fusilli, radiatore, etc.  You want something which the dressing will cling to)
400g of fresh green beans trimmed (about 1/2 pound)  

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To make the candied pecans, preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Stir the melted butter and brown sugar together to dissolve the sugar.   Stir in the pecans.   Spread out on a rimmed shallow baking sheet.   Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool and then break apart.  Store in an airtight container.  

To cook the chicken, put the chicken into a large saucepan with the chicken stock and garlic,  Bring to the boil.  Turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and allow to cool to room temperature in the stock.   Drain well and shred with two forks.  You want it to be a bit chunky.   If making the day ahead, cover and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

To toast the sesame seeds, place them into a dry skiller which you have heated over medium high heat.  Cook and stir for about two minutes until golden brown.   Allow to cool before using.
To make the dressing combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.   Stir in the sesame seeds.   

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Cook the pasta according to the package directions in lightly salted water.   Add the green beans during the last two minutes of cooking time.   Drain well, rinse with cold water to cool.  Drain again.  Cut the green beans into 2 inch pieces and place them in a bowl along with the pasta.   Add the chicken.   Drizzle over the dressing and toss all together to combine.   Sprinkle with the candied pecans and serve immediately.  

This is the perfect way to begin August, don't you think??


  1. This pasta look delicious Marie! I love sesame!

  2. Thank you Gloria, me too! xxoo

  3. Mmmm, looks just like something we'd love. I laugh every time you mention that your husband doesn't like pasta, I can't imagine it! There are so many wonderful dishes that can be made with pasta. Glad to hear he likes this one, we'll be trying it. ;-)

  4. Jeannine, I think it comes from being a WW2 baby! He gets ecstatic as the sight of a steak and kidney pie (blech!) or tinned spaghetti on toast! He did like this though. I hope you enjoy it when you make it! xx

  5. It's not looks delicious but very delicious I like it :) the settings I love it :) nice :) Thank you :) personal chef in austin tx

  6. Ooh..nice!
    Love those pecans on salads..We mix ours w/ maple syrup sometimes instead of butter and brown sugar and may like those too?:)

  7. OH yes, that sounds fabulous Monique! I will try maple syrup another time! I love Maple Syrup!


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