Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken and Orzo with Broccoli

Life has been moving too fast... it always happens this time of year, I must mentally prepare for the fall. There is football, weddings, vacations, birthdays (30th bday in October), and holidays all packed into 4 months. As I said before, I haven't really gotten caught up, because how can you when you are on a plane or devoting one full day of the week to college football!?!? But, I love it and wouldn't change the fast pace for anything (well maybe a four month vacation to Europe or Hawaii!)

Anyways, time is not slowing down and I have a ton of recipes that I haven't shared. My blog feels neglected.... so here we go with a new recipe!

Chicken and Orzo with Broccoli

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

8 oz whole wheat orzo pasta, uncooked
2 chicken breasts (butterflied into 4 pieces)
2 tsp Herbs de Provence
1-2 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes (if you can find the fire roasted one get that)
2 cups broccoli florets or 2 stalks of broccolini
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
10 basil leaves, julliened
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions. Do not overcook the orzo, just until tender and still firm to the touch (no mush). Reserve some of the pasta water

Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and then evenly sprinkle the herbs de province on chicken. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot until slightly browned then toss in the garlic until it becomes very fragrant "Garlic Speaks". Add the can of diced tomatoes (with juices) and the broccoli florets (or chopped broccolini). Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low to simmer. Test the cooking time (about 8-10 minutes) until the broccoli is tender but not limp. Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If you think that your sauce is too thick, you can now add some of the reserved pasta water. Remove from the heat and toss in the basil. I like to add a bit of red pepper flakes at the end for a bit of a kick :)

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