Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Herb Chicken with Creamy Orzo

This is one of the very first recipes I tried in my adventures into non-sucky cooking. In reality, I think successfully making this for dinner is what finally made me realize that I could actually improve my culinary skills and made me want to try. So kudos to Annie from Annie’s Eats for the inspiration )

This is the first time I’d ever made orzo and ooooh yum! It certainly won’t be the last! The recipe makes a lot of leftover orzo and about enough chicken for 2 full servings plus a bit leftover for lunch the next day. I really liked just the orzo and sauce by itself so I froze the leftover orzo and used it a few weeks later for another lunch or two. It froze very nicely which surprised me.

Herbed Chicken with Creamy Orzo


8 oz. orzo
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 ½ cups fresh broccoli florets
½-2/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan



Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil over medium-high heat.  Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
Season chicken breasts on both sides with Herbes de Provence (1 tsp. per breast), salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook 4-5 minutes before turning.  Once chicken has been turned, cook 2 minutes more. 

Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes (adding more olive oil if necessary).  Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes.  Add the broccoli florets to the pan and cook for 4 minutes more, until tender but still firm. 

Reduce the heat to medium and add the whipping cream.  Add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat.  Remove from heat and add grated Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat.  Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. 

Season generously with salt and pepper.  Serve.

Source: Annie's Eats

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