Orzo with Chicken and Parmesan

It still may be too early for comfort food: the days are fairly sunny and warm, and it’s still light out at 7pm. But when those cooler, darker days roll around (or if you just want a preview) this quick and easy recipe fits the bill.

My favorite part of this dish is the mouthfeel. It’s like eating risotto but with only a fraction of the work. Even reheating it in the microwave the next day yields a fantastic creaminess.

Orzo with Chicken and Parmesan (adapted)

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
12 ounces skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 -3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, if you prefer)
1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil, and oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until opaque; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add water and broth to the pan and bring to a mixture to a boil.

Once boiling, add pasta and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas, and continue to cook until the peas are heated through and the pasta has absorbed all the liquid, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup cheese, herbs, salt and pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

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Categories: Chicken, Entrees, Grade Range: A- to A+, Pasta

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