Congrats to everyone for making it through Snowzilla 2016– MrKef and I had a lovely time weathering the storm. We both caught up on some work, then started Making a Murderer (MrKef: “the whole state of Wisconsin can go to hell.”) and I wept through another of the final episodes of Downton. After all those emotions, I had to get into the kitchen and cook off some steam.
WokeUpLikeDisKef and SoulFoodChefKef graciously gifted us with a month of Home Chef meals, which came in superhandy in avoiding all the Snowzilla grocery-store madness. Home Chef is a home-delivery meal service similar to HelloFresh and Blue Apron. I found the Home Chef meals WAY simpler and faster than HelloFresh and also liked the fact that we could choose from about a dozen meals each week (vs 5 with HelloFresh). A last selling point for Home Chef: way less packaging! Enough of the unpaid advertisement (Home Chef–call me!), let’s get to the recipe. MrKef gave this one his certified stamp of approval by requesting I make it again–soon.
Seared Chicken with Parmesan Lemon Orzo
- 1 lemon, halved and zested
- 4 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 oz. kale, rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stems discarded
- 2 chicken breasts at room temperature
- 5 oz orzo
- 1 tsp chicken base (or 1 bouillon cube)
- 2 TBS butter
- 1.5 oz grated Parmesan cheese
- 2.5 c hot water
- olive oil
1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Sear chicken until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Flip chicken, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juice runs clear. Remove from pan and set aside. No need to clean out the pan yet.
2. Return heat to medium and cook onions for 4-5 minutes, or until they are soft and fragrant. Add orzo, increase the heat to medium-high, and stir to toast the orzo, about 2 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup hot water, garlic, and chicken base/cube. Stir constantly until creamy (about 3-4 minutes). Add another cup of water and stir continuously until absorbed and orzo is even creamier. Add HALF a cup of water and lemon zest and cook for 2 more minutes. Orzo should be still a bit firm. Reduce heat to low.
4. Add kale, butter, thyme, cheese, juice from half the lemon, and tomatoes to pan. Stir gently for 1-2 minutes to wilt the kale. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan to reheat. Serve immediately.