Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Chicken and Orzo Skillet with Ginger Broccoli

A simple, one-skillet chicken dinner goes from commonly good to deliciously silky with a creamy white sauce loaded with fresh ginger and broccoli. The ginger adds aroma you can taste. The bottom line here: easy, simple, rich, and inviting.

Note: Like all pasta, orzo comes in different sizes, and that determines cooking time. In general, it usually triples in size when cooked, so you don’t need much dry orzo to start with. For this recipe, I used very small No. 74 noodles. See more about that at Chicken Minestrone with Orzo.

No. 74 Orzo
Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups very small broccoli florets (about 1 medium broccoli crown)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Chicken and Bacon
Broccoli Florets 
Finely Chopped Ginger
  1. Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling, salted water until tender, 10 minutes, depending on size. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Cooked Orzo
  1. Cook the bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until beginning to crisp and the fat is rendered. Transfer to a layer of paper towels and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.
  2. Re-heat the skillet over medium heat and add the butter, swirling to melt and incorporate with the bacon fat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook until just cooked through, breaking the pieces into smaller, bite-sized chunks, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a bowl.
Cooked Bacon 
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Chicken
  1. Add the broccoli, wine, and ginger to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the broth and flour until well incorporated. Return the chicken and bacon to the skillet and add the orzo. Stir in the broth mixture and re-season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until the sauce is thickened to a gravy consistency, about 3 minutes.
Broccoli and Ginger Added
Chicken, Bacon and Orzo Added
To serve, divide the chicken mixture among 4 shallow bowls and garnish with parsley.

Chicken and Orzo Skillet with Ginger Broccoli

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