Chicken Salad with Bow Ties & Mustard-Sesame Dressing

March/April 1994

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Ginger “juice” and Dijon mustard add a unique intensity to this chicken pasta salad. Make it a meal: Apricot-Almond Clafouti is a delicious finish.

Chicken Salad with Bow Ties & Mustard-Sesame Dressing

Makes: 8 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

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  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and poached (see Tip)
  • 1 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 8 ounces snow peas, stems and strings removed
  • 1 pound whole-wheat bow-tie (farfalle) pasta
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced on the bias
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-by-3-inch strips
  • 2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)


  1. Thinly slice chicken and chill.
  2. Finely grate ginger into a fine sieve placed over a small bowl. Firmly press out all the liquid with the back of a spoon. (You should have about 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid.) Add mustard, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce to the ginger juice and whisk until creamy; set aside.
  3. Bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil. Blanch snow peas in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander. Rinse under cold running water and set aside. Return the water to a boil, add pasta and cook until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside.
  4. Combine celery, bell pepper, scallions and the reserved chicken, snow peas and pasta in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: To poach chicken breasts: Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan and add lightly salted water to cover; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • To toast sesame seeds: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Per serving: 296 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 31 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 19 g protein; 6 g fiber; 218 mg sodium; 225 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (57% daily value), Selenium (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 1/2 very lean meat, 1/2 fat

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