This is a meal that I created that covers your protein, carbohydrates, fat, and vegetables. This recipe will make 8 small servings, or 4 large ones. I used a whole wheat orzo, and cooked it “al dente”, which means “firm to the bite”, so it is not too soft and not too chewy. The creamy texture is achieved by using a little cream, and butter, along with a blend fo shredded Italian cheeses in the end. I hope you make it and enjoy this dish. Here we go…..
Step 1- Pan sear your chicken.
- 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (or off)
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- garlic powder
- 6 teaspoons butter
- large dutch oven, or large cooking pan, or large frying pan
Season each piece of chicken on the bottom and top. On medium high heat, cook chicken, skin side down, in butter, for about 20 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 20 minutes.
Step 2- Caramelize seasoning mix.
- 1/2 cup seasoning mix (found in your grocer’s fresh vegetables section, or frozen section, or make your own)- this is a combination of chopped onions, celery, parsley, bell peppers, and sometimes garlic
- 2 teaspoons butter
- small non stick pan
While chicken is cooking, in a separate pan, on medium heat, melt butter, and add vegetables and saute’ for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add caramelized seasoning mix to chicken pan.
Step 3- Make your stock.
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- a few twists of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- canned or jarred artichokes hearts, a total of about 1 cup (cut away any hard leaves)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Now we are going to add the above ingredients of Step 3 to the pan with the chicken and onions. Mix well, and let it come to a boil. If you see any chicken fat rising to the top, you can remove it with a small ladle into a bowl or cup, and discard it in the garbage when it cools. (I try not to throw fat away in my sink so that it will not clog).
Step 4- Add your orzo.
- 2 cups whole wheat orzo pasta
Next we are going to add the orzo to the chicken pan, and mix it around a little, making sure all the pasta is covered in the liquid. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed, or until your favorite orzo texture is achieved (you can add more water in the end, and cook it a couple of minutes longer, if you want it to be even more softer, but I prefer it “al dente”).
Step 5- The finishing touches.
- 1 packed cup of Spring mix greens, or any mixed greens, cut very fine, with kitchen shears or knife
- handful of fresh parsley, cut very fine, with kitchen shears
- 1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (parmesan, romano, mozzarella, and Asiago)
We have come to the last step of this rich dish. In the last 5 minutes of cooking your orzo, add the above 3 ingredients, moving them around, being careful not to break the artichoke hearts, or the chicken. Let it cool for a few minutes for the orzo to soak up the creaminess, and that’s it !!!!!!!!!!!!! You did it !!!!!!! Enjoy your meal, and please feel free to share my recipe blog with your family and friends. 🙂