Creamy Chicken Orzo with Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I am a giant fan of one-pot meals that have a little bit of everything in them to keep them balanced.  When I was in high school, things like “whole grains” just weren’t in my food vocabulary.  I can’t even really say that many vegetables were a part of my college diet.

Now, I’m always looking for a way to incorporate a little bit of everything.  This dish has whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, and dairy…all in one dish!  The orzo cooks to a risotto-like texture and gets nice and creamy.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat tsp of olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Lay the chicken in the pan and cook until golden brown on the first side, about 5 minutes.  Flip the chicken and cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 3 minutes. The chicken will probably not be completely cooked at this point, but it will finish cooking later in the process.

Transfer the chicken to a medium saucepan, pour the broth over, and bring the pan to a simmer on medium-low heat.  Cook until the chicken registers 160 degrees, about 18 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, but do not throw away the broth in the saucepan.  Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise and shred to bite-size pieces.

In your skillet, combine 1 tsp of oil, onion, and 1/8 tsp of salt.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer.

Stir the orzo into the skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until evaporated.

Add the reserved broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer, cooking over medium heat.  Stir frequently, until liquid is almost absorbed and orzo is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes longer.

Add the asparagus and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is crisp-tender and the orzo is creamy, about 10 minutes longer.

Remove the skillet from heat and add in the shredded chicken, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

This meal is an excellent and elegant skillet meal that takes weeknight cooking to the next level – Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 (6oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 3/4 cups orzo
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on bias into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, patted dry, chopped fine
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh basil

Original Recipe, The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2012

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Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Pasta, Poultry, Recipes

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