Orzo with Chicken, Red Pepper, and Shiitakes

Last night Adrienne and I made this Orzo dish for dinner. It was actually quite good! It took quite a bit of effort to make, but probably worth it. Note that it would be really good to have a wire-mesh strainer instead of a standard colander for the Orzo.

It’s Orzo (small rice-shaped noodles) in a cream and goat cheese-based sauce, with red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken. It’s mostly subtle flavors. I would imagine it would be very good served with a good red wine, but we didn’t have any. You will need something to clear your palate in order to get the full flavor of it.

It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to leave out topping it with parsley, either, as the parsley is very strong-flavored compared to the sauce, and overpowers it.

I got the recipe from Cooking.com.

Enjoy!

Update: It looks like Cooking.com deleted this recipe, so I’m quoting it here so I don’t lose it and so this entry makes sense:

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 in all)
Salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound orzo
1/4 pound mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

RECIPE METHOD

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Put the chicken in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer. Remove. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut the breasts crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Put in the bell pepper, shiitakes, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water; drain the orzo.

In the frying pan, combine the reserved pasta water with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the goat cheese, cream, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring almost to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the orzo, chicken, and 3 tablespoons of the parsley and stir to combine. Serve topped with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

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