Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken and Orzo Skillet Dinner

This month I am a little behind on reading all of the magazines I subscribe to. However, this weekend I sat down to relax Sunday morning with my tea and the October issue of Cooking Light magazine. Per usual, I ripped out a bunch of recipes to add to the ever growing pile of recipes to try on our kitchen counter. And now with blogs and pinterest I also have "stacks" of virtual recipes to try as well. There is a method to my madness, I keep everything in a stack to try at least once. If it is a keeper, it gets added into my binder of go to recipes. I am going to have to try and be better about actually making at least one of the recipes I pull out a week.

Ok enough of my rambling and onto the cooking! Tonight I tried the chicken and orzo skillet dinner  from Cooking Light that claims it feeds 4 people for less than $10 and ready in 35 minutes. I always see shows and recipes that claim to be a bargain meal but never believe them since they tend to calculate out the cost of the exact amount of an ingredient, not the entire containter you usually have to purchase. However in this case it came in costing $13.75, I sprang for organic chicken, which made it cost a little bit more since the chicken alone was $7, overall not bad! At first I wasn't sure if there was enough flavor, but then we got a burst of flavor from the red pepper flakes. I did add a splash of white wine to the sauce in the pan. The leftovers would also be great as a cold salad the next day for lunch.

Chicken and Orzo Skillet Dinner
Source: Cooking Light Magazine October 2012
Serves 4

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cut into bite size pieces
12 ounces uncooked orzo
2 medium tomatoes chopped
2 teaspoons no-salt added tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with a sprinkle of salt & pepper (not listed in ingredients), then add to pan. Saute 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

2. Bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add orzo and cook for 8 minutes or until orzo is al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

3. Add reserved cooking liquid, chopped tomato, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to skillet; cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add in chicken, orzo, and 3 cups spinach leaves, stirring until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and sprinkle with feta to serve.

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