Pasta

Orzo with chicken and broccoli

I’ve had this dish three times in the last month.  The first time was when a friend made it for a playdate.  I’ve made it twice more on my own because I. LOVE. IT.  It’s easy, fast, delicious, and it has already passed the “all-ages” test.  Veggies, carbs, and protein are all included in the meal so all you need is fruit to make this a well-rounded meal.

The original recipe comes from http://www.skinnytaste.com.  My friend added chicken to it and I think it makes for a great main meal.  Tonight, we fed four adults and four children.  I have 1-2 servings leftover which will be my hubby’s lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz uncooked chicken
  • 16 oz uncooked orzo
  • 16 oz broccoli
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (I’ve subbed garlic salt. It’s a poor substitute but will work just fine)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Chicken

  • You can prepare the chicken a number of ways.
  1. One option would be to grill it.  Although this is my favorite style, not everyone has a grill and/or the weather won’t cooperate.
  2. The other option, and my fallback for cooking chicken, is this:  put a pound of chicken in a glass baking dish, sprinkle some seasonings over it (I use JR Watkins poultry seasoning), cover it with foil, and cook it at 300 degrees for an hour.  It’s perfect every single time.
  •  After it’s cooked, cube the chicken to be added to the dish later.
  • Tip:  Make the chicken ahead of time.  I made it last night for use today.

Orzo

  • Prepare according to the package.  Typically, you add it to boiling water, bring the water back to a boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes before draining out the water.
  • Tip:  Keep about 1/2 cup of water in case you need to add it to your mix later.

Broccoli

  • If it’s frozen, steam it for a few minutes.
  • If it’s fresh, you don’t need to do a thing other than cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  • I do this part while the orzo is boiling.

Assembly of the Dish

  1. Once the orzo is cooked, add some olive oil to the pot in which you cooked the orzo.  Saute the garlic in the olive oil over low to medium heat.  Tip:  Burning the garlic gives it a bitter taste.  Try dicing / mincing it with your knife vs using a garlic press.  I’m not sure why this makes a difference, but it seems like it doesn’t burn immediately upon being put into the oil.  Maybe the press can rid the garlic of too much of the moisture?
  2. Add broccoli to the pot.  Saute the broccoli, add some salt and pepper to your taste.
  3. Add the chicken to your pot just to warm it up again.
  4. Add the orzo.  If you need to add a bit of the water from cooking the orzo, now’s the time to do it.
  5. Serve with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese on top!

What do you think?  Would you try it?  Did you try it?  Tell us!

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