Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo

family vaca1

I'm back!  Sorry for the sudden disappearance.  My husband, three kids and I decided to go on a last-minute vacation to Florida.  I think we literally booked everything about 2 weeks before we actually went.  We packed up the car and headed south.  We stayed in Kissimmee for a week and did a few of the theme parks.  Then we went further south to Englewood, for the remaining days of the trip to spend time on the beach and with some of my husband's family whom is also vacationing there.  The weather was fabulous- high 70's, low 80's for most of the trip.  I'll take it, considering when we left home it was -10 out!  So, we are finally back after about two weeks and over 40 hours total of driving(!).  Now that I have gotten everything unpacked, washed and some-what back in order, I figured I needed to get back to blogging!  I have several recipes to share with you all that I am pretty excited about, so stay tuned!

family vaca2

I always love a delicious and easy weeknight meal.  Depending on our week schedules, I will occasionally have time do a more labor-intensive meal.  So, I always put a few fast and easy meals on the week's menu, just in case things get busy.  A pasta base with veggies and/or meat added is one of my favorite weeknight combinations.  Especially since we are all huge pasta lovers.  Even though my kids like to think that orzo is rice, it still makes a great base.

Creamy Orzo with Chicken

This dish is creamy, filling and so tasty.  And, it has cheese in it!  This one of those dishes that covers pretty much all the food groups.  Grains, check. Vegetables, check, dairy, check, meat, check.  Yes!  Try it.  Love it.

Creamy Orzo with Chicken

Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 10 oz. dried orzo pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each dried thyme, rosemary and basil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Bring 4-quarts of water to a boil.  Stir in the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Place in a large bowl and cover, set aside.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle evenly with the dried thyme, rosemary and basil.  Heat the olive oil in the now empty pot over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped chicken to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally,  until golden brown.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute, until fragrant.  Add the diced tomatoes with juices and the broccoli florets to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer over medium-low.  Cover and let cook until the broccoli florets are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.  Mix until well blended and the cheese has melted.   If the dish isn't creamy enough, stir in some of the reserved pasta sauce until desired consistency is reached.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve.

Source: Adapted from Food Network via Annie's Eats