Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Delicious Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo

I had a few chicken breasts chillin (literally) in my freezer, so I searched through my Betty Crocker cookbook to find something to cook with them. The Mediterranean Chicken with Rosemary Orzo recipe was the one that looked the tastiest and didn't require a thousand ingredients to make.

Stuff you should obtain:
1 lb chicken breast tenders
1 14oz can chicken broth
8oz orzo
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 zucchini
3 roma tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Notes about ingredients: To create the "breast tenders" you can just slice chicken breasts into 1-inch strips. I probably ended up making far more than I was supposed to for this recipe - I used 1.5 lbs of chicken, and all of my vegetables were really large. Still turned out fine though. Also, orzo is pasta that resembles rice - it's not rice, despite what it looks like. I found it in the international food aisle at my crappy grocery (in the Kosher section of all places).

What you should do:
1) Chop all the veggies!
This took forever for me, so you definitely want to start this before you start cooking the chicken. The zucchini and tomatoes should be cut lengthwise into fourths and then cut into slices. Think bigger chunks of vegetables, not fine slices.

2) Cook the chicken!
Nobody likes salmonella. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and cook the chicken over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is brown. I used a regular 10" frying pan, but had to switch to a larger pan once I added everything else for this recipe - bigger is better!

3) Add stuff!
Add the chicken broth, orzo, and garlic. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. I mistakenly added the water in this step, although I don't think it really changed anything.

4) Add more stuff!
After simmering for 8 minutes, add all of the other ingredients. This is the point where you realize if your pan is large enough for this meal or not. If not, just dump it all into a bigger saucepan and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

5) Enjoy!
Congrats! You have created a delicious chicken dish!

Leftover Capability:
I made this for two people - we both ate multiple servings and there was definitely two meals left over after that. So probably a solid 5-6 plates out of this dish.

But What About My Money?:
Chicken breasts (2 lb package)$4.06
Chicken broth$0.75
2 Zucchini$2.17
3 Tomatoes$0.57
Bell Pepper$0.50
The total price is a little misleading for this dish, as I didn't use one of the three chicken breasts in the package (they were huge), and I definitely didn't use the whole thing of rosemary. However, if you assume that you get 5 plates out of this meal, that's about $2.83 per plate. So still extremely cheap, and you get to eat a vegetable-laden meal, something I know I don't cook that often.

Final Grade: A
I thought the taste for this dish was great, and it was pretty easy to make - just cut everything up and cook it in a pan. I definitely liked that it had a lot of veggies and it was a type of meal that I don't normally eat, so it was a nice change. Definitely recommended and I'm definitely going to make this again.