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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chicken Orzo

I bought a package of Orzo for the first time a couple of months ago, and I've had my eyes peeled for a good Orzo recipe ever since.

I was still scouting out recipes when on Saturday, the package of Orzo fell out of my pantry cupboard and landed on Marco's Tonka truck, splitting open. I have a wall of pantry cupboards in my kitchen that go right to the ceiling, and in general when you need to get something out of them you have to employ a very quick-handed and highly skilled "open-grab-close" technique.

Needless to say, following a successful Orzo salvage operation, I decided it was time to try a new recipe.

I pretty much improvised this entire meal, and made things up as I went. I was very pleased with the results, and I will definitely make Orzo again. Although, it took me 5 minutes at the dinner table to convince Claire that it wasn't rice. She thought I was trying to trick her into taking a bite (not that I wouldn't do that).

I also really really wanted to add a tablespoon or so of chopped up capers to this recipe, but I turned my fridge upside down and couldn't find any.... don't ask me who ate all the capers. I'm sure I had a bottle. "The Missing Caper Caper"...yeah - sorry that wasn't very funny was it?

Chicken Orzo

1 cup orzo
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 oz proscuitto
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan

1. Cook Orzo in boiling water for 7-9 minutes. Drain. (HOT TIP: MAKE SURE THE HOLES OF YOUR REGULAR COLANDER AREN'T TOO BIG OR YOU WILL POUR ALL YOUR ORZO DOWN THE SINK AND YOU WILL HAVE TO COOK MORE... not that happened to me, or anything...)

2. Chop raw chicken into bite sized cubes (this is really easy to do, if your chicken it still a little frozen). Heat olive oil and saute chicken, onion, and garlic. Once chicken is almost cooked, add proscuitto and cook a few minutes more.

3. Drain tomatoes, reserving about 1/2 cup of the juice. Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup juice, wine, and herbs.

4. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in Orzo and Mozzarella cheese.

5. Dump all out into a big pasta serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan.