Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Creamy Orzo with Chicken, Asparagus and Red Peppers

This dish was inspired by one with Mushrooms. Since I dont eat the fungus it sometimes difficult for me to replace them or leave them out in recipes. But in this recipe you wouldnt even know I changed anything. The asparagus fit in perfectly. I am trying to figure out what other veggie combos I can use because this was so delicious and so easy with most ingredients out of my pantry staples, I can see repeating it again for sure. I ate the leftovers for lunch and yum---still really awesome. Oops I blew the verdict but hey I am trying to be quick to get caught up.

Creamy Orzo with Chicken, Asparagus and Red Peppers
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 average-sized chicken breasts (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds), cut into chunks
2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound orzo pasta
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (ladling it into a small bowl is my method) and then drain the orzo and set aside.

While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (if you forgot to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature, no worries! Pop it in the microwave for one minute on 40% power) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.


LOVED this recipe. Its a keeper and a welcome addition to the rotation. The hint of lemon was so good, and it was so quick and easy. My favorite kind of meals. I didnt add the parsley because I didnt feel like chopping it and the kids wont eat it with it sprinkled on and frankly I was hungry. I did add a lot of extra cheese which makes everything taste better. This is such a great meal, that also makes a lot of great leftovers. MAKE this recipe and let me know what you think

No comments:

Post a Comment