2-3cupscooked diced or shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken is a great option (see note)
1red bell pepper, diced
1cupchopped sugar snap peas, chopped, blanched asparagus works great as a sub
1-2avocados, peeled and diced
1head butter lettuce, chopped (optional)
⅓cupunseasoned rice vinegar
⅓cupneutral-flavored oil, like vegetable, canola, avocado
2clovesgarlic, finely minced
1tablespoonfresh lemon juice
Pinchof black pepper
Cook the rice according to package directions. Scoop the cooked rice into a large serving bowl and let cool to room temperature (alternately, the rice can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed).
Add the chicken, bell pepper, peas (or asparagus, if using), and avocado.
For the dressing,combine all the ingredients in a jar or blender and shake/process until well-combined. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
Pour about 2/3 of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add more dressing to taste or for desired consistency, if needed.
Serve immediately or refrigerate the salad for 1-2 hours (you may want to save a bit of the dressing and toss the salad with it before serving if it has been refrigerated).
Give the salad a good toss before serving.
The chicken and rice salad can be served: a) on its own, b) over a bed of chopped butter lettuce, or c) tossed WITH the butter lettuce. Yum!
Rice: the rice blend used in this salad is very adaptable! I've used a boxed wild rice blend before, as well as the brown rice medley from Trader Joe's. Another time I made it, I used a rice/quinoa blend I found at Costco (not sure it even had wild rice in the ingredients, but it was still tasty). Chicken: this pesto marinated chicken is great in this recipe. Make-Ahead: this recipe includes the time needed for cooking the rice; however, you can get ahead of the game if you make the rice before you need it, and store it in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad. The dressing can also be made ahead of time (several days!). Seasoning: if all you have is seasoned rice vinegar, I'd omit the salt and sugar and then add those ingredients to taste, if needed, at the end.