Here’s a cool salad for a hot summer evening. Roasted chicken served over rice with a black bean and corn salsa can be assembled in just minutes. This recipe dresses up roasted or rotisserie chicken breasts sold in fast-food restaurants or the supermarket.
Sweet vermouth gives the black bean and corn salsa an intriguing flavor with very little effort. It’s a good way to use up the vermouth that has been in your cupboard for years, or you can buy small bottles called splits. Use the salsa dressing in the recipe or add vermouth and cumin to a bottled, reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing.
Any type of white long grain or quick cooking rice can be used.
Rice: Basmati rice is a long-grain rice with an aromatic flavor. It smells a little like popcorn when cooking.
Tip: I like to boil rice as I do pasta, in a pot large enough to let the grains roll freely in the boiling water. This method gives fluffy rice every time.
Nutrition: This meal contains 654 calories per serving with 22 percent of calories from fat.
Wine suggestion: This nice summer meal needs a light- bodied red wine. How about a crisp Italian valpolicella?
To buy: 1 small bunch cilantro, 2 small ripe tomatoes, 1 small can black beans, 1 small package frozen corn, 1 small package basmati rice, 1 small bottle ground cumin, 1 small bottle red vermouth, 3/4 pound roasted chicken breast and 1 small whole wheat baguette.
Staples: Canola oil, hot pepper sauce, salt and black peppercorns.
CHICKEN, BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALSA SALAD 1/2 cup basmati white long-grain rice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided use
1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red (rosso) vermouth, divided use
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Several drops hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 pound roasted chicken breast, bones and skin removed
2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 whole wheat baguette, sliced
Bring a large pot with 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add rice and boil, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Test a grain: rice should be cooked through, but not soft. Drain into a colander in the sink. Return rice to saucepan and add 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon vermouth and salt and pepper to taste.
While rice cooks, mix 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1/2 tablespoon vermouth, cumin, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a medium-size bowl. Add the black beans and corn. Toss well. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
Spoon rice onto 2 dinner plates. Slice chicken and place on rice. Spoon salsa on top and sprinkle with cilantro.
Arrange tomatoes on the side of the dinner plates. Serve with baguette.
Per serving: 654 calories (22 percent from fat), 15.8 g fat (2.1 g saturated,7.8 g monounsaturated), 108 mg cholesterol, 48.7 g protein, 76.1 g carbohydrates, 8.4 g fiber, 362 mg sodium.Yield: Makes 2 servings