Monday, November 9, 2009

Dinner Tonight: Chicken, Lemon and Dill with Orzo

Wow. Just when I think I've been bored to death by chicken, a recipe like this one comes along and wins me over yet again. This beauty, featured in a story called "Beyond Lasagna" in the November 09 issue of Everyday Food, is sublime. It's also ridiculously easy. Which means it's definitely a keeper. It combines lots of my favorite things: lemon, dill, feta, and orzo to create a baked pasta dish that is equal parts comfort food and savory delight. Spectacular!

I played with the ratio of ingredients a bit, because the recipe is written to serve six. I more or less cut it in half, but went with ample amounts of lemon juice and dill, in particular, and less feta and parmesan. The end result is sort of risotto-ish, actually, without the fuss and attention needed for real risotto.

Chicken, Lemon and Dill with Orzo
Source: Everyday Food Magazine, November 2009
Serves 6. Prep time: 10 minutes. Total time: 50 minutes

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 Tb unsalted butter
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-in pieces
1 pound orzo
2 cups crumbled feta (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
2 tsps finely grated lemon zest plus 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
1 c grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a sauce pan, bring broth, 3/4 cup water, butter, salt and pepper to a boil. In a 3-quart baking dish, combine chicken, orzo, feta, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour broth mixture over chicken mixture and stir once to incorporate. Bake until orzo is tender and cooking liquid is creamy, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.


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