Sunday, April 19, 2009


I hope y'all had an excellent Easter, Passover, or Rite of Spring, depending. We had a wonderful time, with family, friends, a number of exceedingly Odd Easter eggs (owing to combinng the family and friends with a large quantity of champagne mojitos during the coloring), and a lovely Easter Vigil service. Followed, of course, by the Easter Feast.

We do Italian for Easter. Antipasto, Entertaining Olives (red Cerignolas this year, plus the usual Greek salad mix), berry salad, Lasagna, mini-pizzas, and Drunk Chicken Pasta Salad. Since that last is on my favorites of '08, and it's fresh in my mind (but not, alas, the refrigerator; we ate the Whole Thing on Easter Sunday, which is too bad, because it makes excellent leftovers), I figured I'd post the recipe. Hope you enjoy it!


3-4 large chicken breasts (well, one per person, really, but you'll have to
adjust the other ingredients upward if you use more than four.)

tequila (any kind)

bottled margarita mix

garlic (lots)

1 medium red onion

2 green onions, chopped

artichoke hearts - two small jars, or one large one

1 lb. asparagus

6-7 large mushrooms (just the usual white or brown ceps type,
though if you really like other kinds, you can certainly substitute
or use them in addition. Just be careful if you use portabella, as
the gills will shed dark stuff all over the pasta)

about a cup of olives - pitted, preferably, and strong-flavored,
but any kind you like. Spanish queen olives are good; so are
kalamata and the big green Greek olives. I don't recommend the
little Sicilian ones, just because they're such a pain to cut up.


extra-virgin olive oil

a good balsamic vinegar

2-4 T. butter

one pkg. Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix

1 large box farfalle (bow-tie) pasta (I like Barilla, myself)

fresh romano or parmesan cheese, grated or shredded

1 very large bowl

OK. To start, you mince up four or five (or six or seven,
depending on size and how much you like garlic) cloves of garlic,
plus about a third of the red onion. Saute' 2/3 the minced garlic
and chopped green onion in a deep frying pan with enough
olive oil to cover, and add some rosemary.

Trim the chicken breasts, then gash each one deeply several
times on both sides. Put chicken in the saute' pan to brown, and
pour a tablespoon or so of tequila over each breast. As the
chicken cooks, alternate additional applications of tequila with
equal applications of margarita mix. As the chicken browns, the
liquid in the pan will cook slowly down into a thick blackish
glaze; make sure the breasts are well coated on both sides with
this. Cook until chicken is completely cooked through, then set
aside on chopping board.

While the chicken is browning, saute' the remaining 1/3 of the
minced garlic and green onion in a couple of tablespoons of melted
butter. Break cleaned asparagus into small pieces (one or two
inches long) and add to saute'. Add herbs, finely minced. Add
sliced mushrooms, stirring frequently. When asparagus is tender
and mushrooms have absorbed all the butter, set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large quantity of boiling water. While
it's cooking, quarter the olives, halve the artichoke hearts, and
slice the remaining red onion into thin rings.

Mix the Good Seasons salad dressing mix with balsamic vinegar and
Extra-virgin olive oil.

Dice the cooked chicken breasts.

In a very large bowl, combine a) the sliced olives, artichokes
and onions, b) the sauteed asparagus and mushrooms, c) the diced
"drunk" chicken, and d) the cooked bow-tie pasta. Slosh about 3/4
of the salad dressing over the mixture and toss thoroughly.

Serve warm, with fresh romano or parmesan cheese grated or
shredded on top, and additional dressing as desired.

It's not at all difficult, but it _is_ time-consuming; it
normally takes me about an hour and a half to do. Worth it,



  1. hi Diana,
    I live in Matera, a city of south Italy, in the day of Pasqua we eat:
    1) antipasto all'italiana;
    2) Lasagne;
    3)Agnello con lamponi e patate;
    5)Pastiera Napoletana e Sospiri Siciliani.
    Come in Italy...I'll made you to taste them!!
    Excuse my poor english but I speak only italian!!!
    I love you Diana

  2. Wow - the drunk chicken pasta salad sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! I'm adding it to my cookbook software now and plan to try it soon. A quick question though...about how many applications of tequila do you put on each chicken breast? I guess it could be left up to individual taste. I love tequila, so I would probably be pretty liberal! ;o)

    Anxiously awaiting the next Jamie & Claire installment...Heather in Mississippi

  3. Diana:

    Are the artichoke hearts marinated or not (not that it would make a significant difference....)? Sounds delicious and will try it.

    Thank you,


  4. That sounds sooooo good. I can't wait to try it!

  5. This sounds lovely and I will certainly try it. One question though - the green onions that you refer to - are they what we in the UK would call Spring or Salad onions? I suspect they are but I just wanted to make sure.

  6. Yummmm!
    I found that you had a blog on Goodreads. I was so excited. I'm a big, giant fan.
    I'll send the recipe to my sister and see if she will make it for me!! I'll just watch and drink the tequila!

  7. Sounds yummy! I am always loking for a new pasta salad recipe.

  8. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it looks very tasty!

  9. Dear Mariella--

    I love Italy--especially the food!

  10. Dear Heather--

    I don't know; I've never counted. [g] Basically, I just slosh a medium-size splash of liquid over the chicken, let it cook down to brownish bubbles (but don't let it go dry!), then add more, alternating tequila and margarita mix. As the chicken approaches done-ness, you'll find that the liquid has cooked down to a lovely sticky black-brown glaze. So you just judge by eye, is the answer.

  11. Dear Merrymags--

    Yes, I generally use marinated artichoke hearts, but they don't have to be.

  12. Dear Irene--

    Yes, spring onions. You make sort of a bed of the minced garlic and onion for the chicken to lie on while it cooks. [g]

  13. Dear Diana--
    This sounds incredible--I'm going to make it for my husband's b-day that we're celebrating next weekend... Thanks!

  14. and here, i was wondering what i was going to do with chicken for supper tonight. THANK YOU!

  15. Hi Diana -

    This recipe is delicious, and the chicken is addictive prepared this way. I sometimes spoon it onto a lightly fried corn tortilla with a little sour cream if I don't have all the other ingredients. Thank you!

  16. Dear Dana--

    It _is_ addictive. People just keep eating it until it's gone. [g]

  17. Ok, I have to try this one, even for the name alone! :)

    You must be quite the cook Diana, where do you find the time? Is it relaxing for you to make such wonderful meals for your family?

    Can't wait to see how it comes out.


  18. Dear Lisa--

    I like to cook--my father was a professional chef. [g] But I must point out that this particular dish is "feast food"--not something I'd normally make for dinner.

  19. Diana,

    All right, the chicken pasta salad sounds amazing and I thoroughly intend to try my hand at it sometime, but I'm also highly interested in this champagne mojito you mention - it sounds quite tasty. Is it just as simple as substituting champage for the rum, or...?


  20. I'm not normally I fan of pasta salads - finding them usually bland and...bleh - but what the heck, this doesn't sound bland, and I'm always looking for creative ways to cook chicken...I'll give it a go!

  21. Dear Nathalie--

    I know what you mean about bland pasta salads (don't care for them generally). This one's not, no. [g]

  22. Dear Kelly--

    No, you substitute champagne for the soda water. [g] Let's husband makes it with two ounces of rum to two ounces of mojito mix (which is lime juice and simple syrup, but saves more measuring if you buy it as a mix) to an ounce-ounce and a half of champagne. Add mint leaves, a wedge of lime, and instant blotto. [g]

  23. Just made this and it was yummy but the kitchen, as always looks like a warzone after making your recipes. I’m also from the UK and couldn’t find any margarita mix (made my own from one part lime juices, one part lemon juice, one part sugar syrup (made from 2 parts sugar and 1 part water) and one part water) or the Zesty Italian salad seasoning so I used a garlic pasta seasoning instead and it worked very well. Only thing is that you didn’t say how much of each herb (I used about 1tsp of each and it seemed to do the trick) or the quantities needed for your dressing!! But still it came out very well, will be filed alongside enchilada recipe!!

  24. Hi Diana,
    Thanks so much for the recipe. Being Italian and loving the food has made me into a pasta lover, especially salads. I definitely will try this recipe.
    And looking forward to Sept. when I can continue my journey with Jamie and Claire. :)
    Carol Luciano

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  27. Oh, Diana, I am so disappointed. I JUST found out you were in Michigan this weekend, just an hour or so from me. I found out too late!!! I hope the seminars were wonderful for those blessed to be able to attend!

  28. Hi Diana. Any news on the graphic novel? Thanks for the recipes. I made the machaca for the family and they loved it! Trying the drunk chicken next. Tracy

  29. I'm a girl from Norway (and I'm really bad in English). I love your books and I and I have read them over and over again. I love your characters and I feel like I really know them. I'm just a kid at 15, but I have read a lot of books and yours are my absolute favorite. Love that they are a bit long, so I don’t get finished right away, like I use to do. Some places in the books are maybe a little… for me, but I love them anyway. I have watched some interviews, and you are an inspiration for me. I love to read and write, pasta and I love you!


  30. Love this! Sounds yummy!

  31. Drunk Chicken Pasta Salad sounds fabulous!
    Have a great time at "The Gathering"!
    I had hoped to go, but no $, as usual.
    Where are the stones of NC? Darn, missed the summer solstice! Fall is a bit late to go through to the unknown.

  32. I'm starting a little fan page.
    Tell me what you guys think so far!

  33. MmmParsley -- you have a typo in your comment. I believe your site is (in, not to). There doesn't seem to be a site at

  34. I'm sure this isn't the best place to ask this question, but I don't see a "contact me" option.

    I'd like to buy ECHO for my Kindle, but Amazon doesn't seem to have it available as a Kindle edition. (You can pre-order the hardback for $18.00, though.)

    Diana, will ECHO be available for the Kindle?

  35. Diana I am dying for a word or two from you (or Claire!) come back to the blog we miss you :D xoxo melzie

  36. Great chicken salad, and delicious. Love it!

    It is summer, and would love it if you would blog more regularly. And if you can slip in a little Jamie and Claire would be nice.

    Am I being too forward? xxxx

  37. Hi Diana,
    I found on your web site a book you are writing or have written called Red Ant's Head. I have checked my local library and they don't have it. Has it been published yet? Thank you

  38. I have not blogged for several months. Keeping myself under control, waiting patiently for "Echo". But I got to watching the music video's on You Tube, and seen Gerald Butler as Jamie. I didn't think he could pull if off as Jamie, the more I watched I soon changed my mind. If he's not tall enough, put him on a platform. It works for Tom Cruise. I just wish he would stop doing the silly "romantic" comedies. He can do better than that. Ugh! Keep him away from Jennifer A, Katherine H, or any other favor of the month. Give him a Claire that can act and I think you would have a winner. Oh! by the way someone used pictures of Orlando Bloom as Jamie, NO, NO, NO. He might make a good pirate but not Jamie Fraser. Anyway Sept 22th can't come fast enough for me.

  39. please not Keira Knightly as Clair ugggg i can't stand her I would prefer Rachel Weisz sooooooooo much more, I'm still just on the 5th book, I only discovered it recently when I saw the whole series in my mums cupboard ha I live in Australia and I am looking everywhere for the audio books...I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!

  40. Hi Diana! I know you have not blogged for awhile, and knowing that your hands were fast and furiously typing Echo, it was actually neat to see the time tick by by your lack of posts! Meant more JAMIE AND CLAIRE was on the way! ANYway, because I love your blog so much (and you!) I have given you a blogger award! I hope you don't mind!: You can claim your prize here:

  41. That recipe sounds amazing! Can't wait to try it.
    I am a huge fan of your novels- I can't get enough of Jamie and Claire! I am so excited for Echo- it comes out about a week & 1/2 after my wedding! I can't wait for either one!! :) ~Megan in IL~

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