Chicken Breasts with Orzo, Carrots, Dill and Avgolemono Sauce from Food & Wine magazine
(click here for recipe)
Another dinner that I brought to my brother and sister-in-law, who have a brand new cutie patootie baby.
I actually tripled the recipe that night and also brought dinner to my friend, S., and her family, as S. has been ill. We also had it for dinner at our house. I was looking for something that would be kid-friendly and fairly universally appealing (nothing too strange, unfamiliar or exotic), since I was making it for so many different people. It was a big job (cooking for 12 people!), but this recipe was actually simpler than it seems.
The only modification that I made was to toast the orzo (in a large skillet, over medium-high heat with a TINY bit of olive oil, just until golden-toasty brown, stirring frequently so that it browns evenly) before cooking it. Doing this adds a wonderful, nutty flavor to the finished dish. I really can’t imagine why the instructions skipped this step, because I always do that when I cook orzo. In my mind, it’s not optional. Oh, and I also cut the carrots into “coins,” rather than matchsticks. Here’s a photo of the orzo, pre and post-toasting:
This dinner was quite yummy and definitely something that I will make again. It was a hit for all of the recipients, as well. The avgolemono (basically, just Greek lemon sauce, thickened with egg) sauce was delicious and would be good over asparagus, too. My only issue with the recipe is that because the chicken is simmered for a while in a covered pot, it was a bit difficult to judge when it was done. I have a digital thermometer with a probe that can be attached that will beep to alert you when your food has reached the desired pre-set temperature and it was very helpful in cooking the chicken. When I make this again, however, I might brown the chicken in the pan and then finish it in the oven (again, with the assistance of the thermometer,) just to be sure that the chicken doesn’t overcook and get tough or stringy.