Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quick & Easy

My daughter doesn't like any type of pasta with red sauce (is she crazy?) so I usually pull some noodles out and make her some variation of our meal. Last night I was making Toasted Orzo with Chicken, Kalamata Olives and Feta so I came up with this version sans red sauce. I thought it was quite good and will make it again for the whole family next time.

Toasted Orzo with Chicken, Kalamata Olives, Toasted Almonds and Parm

3 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 cup orzo pasta *
2 1/2 cups water
1 Rapunzel brand vegetable bouillon cube (no salt version)
2 T minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 chicken breast, cubed (I buy 1 or 2 grilled chicken strips from PCC)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 t fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
freshly ground pepper
feta, optional

Put 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add orzo pasta and saute for a few minutes, stirring regularly. Once it starts to brown a little bit, add water and vegetable bouillon cube (breaking apart as you sprinkle it in). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, sprinkle with some salt. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed (10 minutes or so), stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, combine 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a second pan over medium heat. Add shallot and saute for a few minutes. Add garlic and saute until it starts to sizzle. Add kalamata olives, chicken, parsley and some pepper. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Once orzo pasta is completely cooked (you may have to add a little more stock or water if it's not cooked all the way and give it a few more minutes), add 1T butter and parmesan. Stir to combine. Add chicken mixture and toasted almonds. Stir to combine. Check seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed, and serve.

* Orzo pasta usually comes in 12-16oz bags. If you want to use a whole bag, increase the other measurements.

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