Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chicken with Lemon Feta Orzo

This is one of the yummiest, simplest dishes I've ever made. Took five minutes to throw together and about 45 minutes to cook. I was skeptical about everything in the beginning.. afraid the tangy feta and the tangy lemon would be too much, afraid that the dill would be front-and-center (I don't like dill). But it's surprisingly, perfectly fantastic.. company-quality fantastic. I actually can't wait to make it again.

Chicken with Lemon Feta Orzo
(adapted from Everyday Food)
serves 6-8, depending on appetites
1 lb. orzo pasta, uncooked
1 8 oz. block of feta, cubed in very small pieces
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest, and the juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. dried dill
8 chicken pieces (we used boneless skinless thighs, fat trimmed; I worry that chicken breasts would dry out from the longer cooking time)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 400. In a 9x13 baking dish, stir together the orzo, feta, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and dill. Lay the chicken pieces on top; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the broth and water to boiling; stir in the salt and pepper, then pour over the chicken and orzo. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan over chicken pieces. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until the orzo is cooked and the liquid is creamy. Let stand 5 minutes before stirring.

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