September 27, 2016

Chicken Vegetable Orzo

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ¾ cup carrot, diced
  • ¾ cup red bell pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 2 cups roughly chopped spinach (lightly packed)
  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • 7oz / 200g chicken thigh or breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup orzo / risoni
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (stock)
  • ¾ cup parmesan (grated)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Boiled water

  1. Place the oil and mince the garlic straight into a large non stick pan that has a lid. Make sure the pan is reasonably deep - around 5cm / 2.5" or more. Otherwise, use a large pot.
  2. Place pan on high heat. Stir the garlic to infuse the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and carrot and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the bell pepper (capsicum) and chicken and cook until the chicken is white all over (it should still be pink inside) - about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the milk, stock, orzo (risoni) and flour, put lid on then bring to boil, then turn down to medium.
  5. Cook at rapid simmer, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes. Keep the boiled water nearby to add in case the liquid evaporates too quickly - this will depend on the size of pan you used, strength of heat you are using etc. If you are not using a non stick pan then you will need to stir more than one or twice, just to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
  6. After 5 minutes there should still be a bit of liquid and the risoni should be soft on the outside but still firm on the inside. There needs to be enough liquid to cook for another couple of minutes - if you are concerned, add a bit more water (don't worry if you add a little too much, it will reduce quickly at the end).
  7. Add the peas, spinach and parmesan, stir to mix through then put lid back on for another minute.
  8. Remove lid, adjust seasoning to taste and check to ensure the orzo is cooked. It should be a risotto consistency, not too saucy, but not dry like a pilaf.
  9. If you added too much water, leave it on the stove for another 30 seconds to a minute and keep stirring - it will cook out pretty quickly.
  10. Serve immediately.

From here