If this recipe looks at all familiar, it’s because I have posted it on my blog once before nearly a year ago. I finally decided to take down the old post and create a whole new one for this recipe for a couple of reasons. I make this meal often and have changed the way I prepare it a bit, so I have reflected those changes in this updated version to make this recipe more clearly written and with a better final product. Also, the old picture was simply terrible (as many of my old photos are) and since this is truly a favorite meal, I thought it deserved a more appealing shot.
So, why do I love this dish so much? Because it’s delicious, it’s an easy one pan meal (well, plus a pan to cook the pasta), and did I mention it’s delicious? I mean, what’s not to love about a dish that has pasta, veggies, chicken and cheese all in one place? Sign me up! Herbes de Provence is a wonderful spice blend to have in your pantry, but if you don’t happen to have it and don’t want to buy it, you can easily create your own with other spices you are likely to have on hand. Just do a Google search and you’ll find some estimates of what to mix together as a suitable sub. I’ve done this many times, and it always works out just fine. Enjoy!
Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo
8 oz. orzo pasta, uncooked
2 chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 pieces total)
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 cups broccoli florets
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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 ½ cup of the pasta water.
Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly with the Herbes de Provence. Heat the olive oil in a 12- or 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast halves to the pan and cook about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute, until fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes with juices and the broccoli florets to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer over medium-low. Cover and let cook until the broccoli florets are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Mix until well blended and the cheese has melted. If necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water to smooth out the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.