Thursday, August 28, 2008

A snazzy chicken dish that can be turned out in a snap...

We are often doing dinners around here that don't take a bunch of time to prepare. I knew I needed tonight's dinner to be not very fussy as it was to be a fairly busy day, so I picked this fancy named, but a snap to prepare, Chicken Breasts with Orzo, Carrots, Dill and Avgolemono Sauce dish.

As I was sautéing individual boneless and skinless chicken breasts, simply seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper, I made sure the other burner on the stove was busy bringing a pot of water to a boil. When the chicken had turned golden on the first side, we flipped them over, poured in a layer of broth and sprinkled the skillet with dill. Partially covered, we let the chicken bubble away to finish cooking through as I dropped a good amount of orzo pasta into the boiling water.

As an aside...
When we went to the market this weekend to pick up the orzo for this dish, I couldn't find the brand we usually use - the only other one in stock was from DaVinci and it looked a little curious to me. While I've always seen orzo as more of a rice-shaped pasta, this was flat and more like a tear drop!

A few minutes before the pasta was ready, I dropped sticks (not too thin or thick) of fresh carrots into the pot of pasta and let the duo finishing cooking together. Once drained, we tossed the two with olive oil to keep the pasta from clumping and to add a bit of flavor. When the chicken was firm to the touch and done, we set the chicken aside to keep warm and then went to work on creating the Avgolemono Sauce. Basically, this is a Greek sauce (or can also be turned into a soup) that starts off by whisking together eggs and fresh lemon juice. Warmed broth is whisked into the two, tempering the eggs, before being added back into the pan which tightens up the loose liquid into a bright, luscious sauce. Be sure to keep the pan over fairly low heat - you want just enough oomph to thicken the mixture, but not so much you make scrambled eggs!

Served by setting a moist chicken breast atop a bed of the orzo and the crisp-tender carrot planks, the generous lemon-y sauce, with its green flecks from the dill, is streamed all over the top and around the sides. While it may look like a bit too much sauce, we both couldn't get enough and were practically licking (I'll admit it... we did!) the plates to not waste any drops left behind! Pretty healthy as is, you could even sneak in a bit of fiber by using whole wheat orzo if you can find it!


  1. I love quick, easy, yummy meals for the week. Today I went to Costco, which is over an 1 hour away, and started buying butter for my XMas treats. I was thinking of you and was wondering what you are going to come up with this year.

  2. That sauce! What a lure - I try to avoid eating meat but this looks so tempting! Then I started thinking that the sauce would make a great toppping for pasta all on its own. What do you think???


  3. That sauce sounds great Joe! Whole wheat orzo is the only kind I buy...I get it at Fresh Market. Do you have one near you?

  4. I knew I should have looked at your blog before I went grocery shopping. That sounds a lot better than what we're having. It would sound a lot better than what we're having no matter what we were having!

  5. Helene - Our Costco isn't very close either, so I'm always buying extra butter to keep in the freezer!

    Quinn - That sounds good to me!

    Gigi - We do not, unfortunately!

    Alice - Well, I hope you can try it out next week then!

  6. I'm also on a vegetarian diet, but last night my hubby made amatriciano and I couldn't RESIST! You can see his recipe on my food blog at Yum, yum! Your foods look delicious!

  7. Your dish look soooo good Joe, this one I am making for sure! Yummm!!

  8. Desert - Thanks.

    Ana - I hope you like it!

  9. I made this over the weekend and it turned out great. Thanks again for another delicous (and easy) recipe!

  10. Michelle - Fantastic! Thanks for the feedback.