There’s something very comforting about chicken and bacon together. The flavours are well-known to complement each other, and so they do here. A classic pairing, only made better with the tang of some slow-roasted tomatoes, the bite of fresh rocket, and a subtle mustard dressing.
Originally a non-pasta dish, I added some in to bulk the dish up and make it go further. Of course, if you need a gluten-free option, by all means leave the pasta out, or substitute with a gf version. I have used chicken thigh fillets, because I prefer the flavour, but if you prefer chicken breasts, sub them in by all means! Finally, I have chosen to go with slow-roasted tomatoes, mostly because they’re cheaper than semi-dried (2/3 the price), but also because there’s such satisfaction from doing it yourself!
This salad is best served warm, or at room temperature – perfect for dinner and the leftovers packed up for work lunches the next day!
Chicken, Roast Tomato and Rocket Salad
Adapted from Taste.com.au
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
500g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
oil, for brushing
salt and cracked black pepper
approx 200g short bacon, trimmed of fat and diced
75g baby rocket leaves
250g punnet cherry tomatoes
250g Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
Salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 170degC. In a medium bowl, combine a pinch of rosemary salt, ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme leaves, 3 tablespoons oil and cherry tomatoes. Toss to coat and tip all contents onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast in oven for up to one hour, checking every 20 mins or so. They should be wizened and aromatic, but not burnt.
To make the dressing whisk the oil, vinegar and mustard together. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and cook pasta according to packet directions. Drain and set aside.
Brush the chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.
While the chicken is resting, fry the bacon until crisp and golden.
To serve, shred the chicken into thin slices and toss with the pasta, rocket, roast tomatoes and dressing.
Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and enjoy right away!