You may not believe me when I tell you this, but I made a quinoa dish two weeks ago that had us smacking our lips in delight. It started, as most great dishes do, with leftovers. Just a leftover roast chicken wrapped in aluminum foil. I had Craig do the ceremonial shredding, because he’s an expert at getting every morsel of meat off the carcass. Lolita stands by and yowls her demands for scraps. Occasionally Craig will toss her one.
As for the quinoa, I used red quinoa and followed the package directions for cooking it (adding a pinch of salt to the water). The key step, which I learned making this Ottolenghi quinoa salad, was to then pour the cooked quinoa on to a cookie sheet to let all the moisture evaporate.
Meanwhile, I roasted broccoli on another cookie sheet using my most popular post of all time. (Did you know that on a typical day, 80% of my visitors come to my site because of that post? No joke. They’re Googling “broccoli recipe.”)
Finally, I made a dressing by mincing two cloves of garlic (really smashing them and breaking them down into a paste, with a pinch of salt) and whisking that together with a big spoonful of mustard, a good glug of balsamic vinegar, and then a thin pour of olive oil which I emulsified, by continuing to whisk, the mustard bringing everything together into a pungent dressing. I tasted, of course, for balance and then–after adding the quinoa, the chicken, and the broccoli to a bowl–poured the dressing over everything and stirred it all together with a rubber spatula.
And there you have it.
This may be my new favorite use for leftover chicken. The best part, I should emphasize, are the toasted garlic bits from the roast broccoli recipe—when you get a bite of toasty garlic with the balsamic-flavored quinoa, there’s a lot of deep flavor going on. Even Lolita mewled her approval.