Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pasta again!

Spring has sprung and what not as my friend Bo says so my mind turns to asparagus, strawberries and artichokes. I saw a yummy looking recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle by Sunny Liu. Here's the link This is a quick and delicious dish showcasing asparagus.

Chicken and Asparagus Orzo my way

1/2 pound orzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 half skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced and slices chopped
3 cloves large garlic, peeled, cored and pressed
2 tablespoons white wine
~1 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
~1/2 cup chicken broth
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Bring a well-salted pot of water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, shaving about 1-2 minutes off package cooking time; drain and set aside.

In the meantime, warm a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat, and add about 1/2 of the olive oil. Season chicken well with salt and pepper. When the oil is very hot, but not smoking, add chicken pieces. Brown about 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan; heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook about 1 minute more.

Add the wine, and simmer for about 30 seconds. Stir in the asparagus with 1/4 cup of the chicken stock. Cook for about ~5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in the drained orzo and cooked chicken; add the remaining chicken broth to loosen the mixture, plus more if needed, and cook, stirring, for another minute or two until everything is heated through and blended.

Season to taste and garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired. Serve warm.

This was light and spring like and very quick to cook. Mike and I really enjoyed it and it was a wonderful one pot dish. All we needed was a glass of white wine and some fruit for dessert. It would also be lovely with peas or zucchini and also with mushrooms. Enjoy!

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