Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken and Orzo

Cooking with friends is always a great opportunity to try new recipes. My friend brought over fixings to make this recipe, one he’d made many times before (though he noted each time he’s made it’s been different, experimenting with different spices or additions). It was surprisingly delicious, and so I thought I’d try my hand at it.

Recipe

from Half Baked Harvest
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp butter
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry orzo pasta
⅓ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach
½ cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat 1 tbsp oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Rub chicken with 1 tbsp oil, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. When oil is shimmering, add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from skillet.

To the same skillet, add butter and shallot, cooking until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and orzo, cooking until golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and de-glaze the pan. Add 1½ cups of water and bring to a boil, cooking for 3-5 minutes. Then add cream, mustard, parmesan, spinach, and tomatoes, stirring until the spinach is wilted. Slide chicken and any juices left on the plate into the skillet. Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken topped with lemon juice.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: I didn’t have dried oregano or shallots, so I substituted dried thyme and diced onion, respectively. Used half and half instead of heavy cream, and vegetable broth instead of water.

I was pleased that it was as delicious as when my friend made it for me. I also appreciated that I was able to use a lot of what I had on hand. I could see this dish as being a good opportunity to incorporate ingredients that you might need to use up. It’s creamy and flavourful and relatively quick to throw together. Definitely one to add to the repertoire!

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