Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo

Food Network, you can quit the search for your next best, greatest, coolest, whatever food star. I’ve got you covered. Don’t fret that this was the first result of my many kitchen adventures that I dubbed hands-down restaurant-worthy like all of your other cooking stars’ regular recipes. Because, seriously, I have no doubt that this meal would fit seamlessly into that pages of any menu. I mean, at least at Olive Garden or Chili’s. And, I know that just two weeks ago I admitted to being a complete amateur in this cooking world, but think of how fun could that be for ratings! Just go with me on this one, okay? It’s a developing idea, but it could so work. Have your people call my people.

With the first bite of this moist chicken and creamy orzo, I lost my mind. It was like magic was happening in my mouth. Give it a try. I swear you’ll feel the same way.

Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo

The Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. orzo pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 pieces total)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Seasoning Original Blend
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups broccoli florets or 1 cup peas
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The Directions:

Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving the water.

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly with Mrs. Dash Seasoning. Heat the olive oil in a 12 or 14 inch skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken breast halves to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, with the juices, and the peas. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer over medium-low.

Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. Chances are that like any self-respecting college student you do not have a matching set of pots and pans. Instead you have every family member’s rejects and cannot find a cover to go on top of the pan you are using. Find another equal size pan and use it as a cover. Genius! Look how smart college has made me.

Don’t let those 10 minutes go to waste. Start cleaning up the dishes that have begun to collect in your sink.

Remember that water you set aside? Give it a quick hello and then let it get back to enjoying its beautiful view of the apartments across the way.

Organize your shelves and the refrigerator. They could really use it. Oh, shoot, 10 minutes are up? Guess you’ll have to get back to that later.

Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. If necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water to smooth out the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately and savor every last bite.

The Break-Down:

As you can tell, this meal is one of my favorites. The chicken comes out incredibly juicy and the sauce is to die for. I substituted Mrs. Dash seasoning for Herbes de Provence, simply because I had it in the apartment and had never heard of that fancy French named spice medley. Also, if you never got over your childhood hatred of broccoli –like me –substitute peas for the small, yucky, green tree things. Use only one cup.

As for butterflying a chicken breast -its hard. Really hard. They use the name butterfly and trick you into thinking it will be a happy, simple experience. It isn’t. Practice a lot and be mindeful of your fingers. Follow this video, but cut completely in half rather than keeping the two halves connected.

I got about 4 servings out of this, with a large piece of chicken in each. You might even have some leftover pasta that you can eat as a side dish without chicken.

Total Time:

45 minutes (This includes those 10 minutes in the middle that you got to do all those other fun things like clean or organize, though.)

Total Cost:

$3.46 per serving (Buy chicken in bulk and freeze what you don’t use to save money. On another note, I know you might not want to go out and buy a brand new jar of seasoning, but Mrs. Dash is a really versatile and helpful one to have in your pantry. Use it on any meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, etc. It may seem expensive at first but it will last forever.)

Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats.

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2 Responses to Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo

  1. Pingback: Cream Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts | The College Gal's Kitchen

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