Thursday, April 11, 2013

Garlic Chicken and Orzo

This is one of those super-simple, really yummy, really fast, perfect-for-weeknight-dinners meals, and it is also really healthy, and re-heats wonderfully. I realize this sounds as if maybe I am OVER appreciating this meal, but let's face it... It's also egg-free.  So for right now, it makes me happy. And because I am happy, I thought I would share.


You can also customize this in so many ways. I ate mine as pictured (in it's healthiest form). Mike added sour cream and sriracha sauce to his, as well as extra cheese.

I think you could add different vegetables (fresh peas, maybe some fresh tomatoes or asparagus, onions... lots of options) and different cheeses would also be good. You could probably swap out the protein, too. I used chicken, but shrimp could be really good, too. And adding a little lemon juice at the end might just be perfection. But those are all ideas I have not yet put into execution, so if you try any of them, please let me know how it goes!


Sorry I don't have more photos, but this meal cooks fast, so there's not a lot of opportunity to take good pictures, other than of chicken cooking in a skillet (BORING), or me peeling and mincing garlic (also kind of BORING), so you just get these pictures of the yummy end-product.

Garlic Chicken with Orzo

Ingredients:

1 box uncooked orzo pasta (about 16 oz)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions:

Bring a large pot of chicken broth to boil. (You can use water, but it is much tastier if you add some bouillon to that). Add orzo pasta, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the garlic and red pepper 1 minute, until garlic is golden brown. Stir in chicken, season with salt, pepper, and onion powder and cook about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and juices run clear. Reduce heat to medium, and mix in the parsley and cooked orzo. Place spinach in the skillet. Continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe makes about 8 servings, and you can always add more chicken if you want more. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.