As someone who does not own a dishwasher, the less dishes it takes to make dinner the better. Therefore, I am a HUGE fan of skillet dinners, where I only have to clean one skillet and a wooden spoon. This dish is a bit of a twist on a classic parmesan, served with orzo instead of spaghetti. You pan-fry the chicken, then let it simmer with orzo and tomato sauce. The red pepper and oregano really gives the chicken a spicy kick to it, and by toasting the orzo it gives it a nutty flavor. This is a great weeknight dish since it comes together quickly, and there is little prep involved.
Skillet Italian Chicken with Orzo
Yields: 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 c. orzo pasta
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can petite-diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c. low sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
Pat chicken dry with paper towels; rub all over with oregano, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Toast the orzo in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, 3-5 minutes; transfer pasta to a bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in same skillet until shimmering. Cook the chicken until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side; transfer to plate.
Add garlic and remaining oil to empty skillet; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, broth and toasted orzo; bring mixture to a boil.
Add chicken, along with any juices to skillet; cook, covered, over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through and orzo is tender, 10-12 minutes. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
Remove from heat; sprinkle with basil. Serve, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Source: Cook’s Country magazine April/May 2010