Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad

Salsa taquera is traditional-style Mexican salsa with a thin consistency and slightly smoky flavor. Find it at Mexican markets or in the Mexican section of the grocery store. If you prefer, you can subsitite your favorite salsa.

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  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Yields: 11 cups
  • Prep: 18 mins
  • Roast: 20 mins to 25 mins 450°F
  • Bake: 18 mins
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Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad
Ingredients
2
poblano peppers, halved lengthwise*
1
25 ounce package frozen fully cooked crispy chicken strips
8
ounces dried large elbow macaroni
1/2
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1
7 ounce can salsa taquera** or 3/4 cup salsa
1
avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place peppers on baking sheet, cut sides down. Roast for 20 minutes or until skin is blistered and charred. Bring the foil up around peppers and fold edges together to enclose. Let stand about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, loosen edges of the skins. Gently pull off skin and discard. Remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Chop peppers.
  2. Cook chicken and macaroni according to package directions. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse well under cold water. Set aside. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.
  3. In a large bowl combine cream cheese and half the salsa. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth; gradually beat in remaining salsa. Add chopped peppers and macaroni; toss to combine. Gently fold in avocado and chicken. Serve at once or cover and chill up to 2 hours.
From the Test Kitchen
*Handling Hot Peppers:

Because hot chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid contact with chiles as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the chile peppers, wash your hands well with soap and water.

**

Salsa taquera is a traditional Mexican salsa; it is available in cans and jars from several different companies.

Nutrition Facts (Southwestern Chicken and Macaroni Salad)
    Per serving:
  • 312 kcal cal.,
  • 14 g fat
  • (4 g sat. fat,
  • 3 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 5 g monounsatured fat),
  • 37 mg chol.,
  • 600 mg sodium,
  • 30 g carb.,
  • 3 g fiber,
  • 2 g sugar,
  • 17 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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