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, April 28, 2017

Creamy Chicken Orzo with Broccoli and Fried Egg

Orzo is the perfect substitute for a risotto-like pasta dish. But note: Orzo comes in different sizes, like most pasta noodles, so try to find the very small variety for this recipe. Some boxed varieties are numbered, and here I used #74—small kernels, almost rice-like. Whatever the size, orzo usually triples in size when cooked, so you don’t need much dry orzo to start with.

Small Orzo
For this recipe, I made a creamy, rich sauce with milk, chicken broth, flour, and a little sour cream, then added some broccoli for veggie love, and topped the dish off with a fried egg. Break the runny yolk and enjoy that creamy goodness in every bite.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup uncooked small orzo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups very small broccoli florets
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and dark green parts separated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs

  1. Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling, salted water until tender, 11-12 minutes, depending on size. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil, swirling to coat. Add the broccoli, white parts of the scallions, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is crisp tender, 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the milk, broth, sour cream, and flour until well incorporated. Stir the milk mixture and cooked chicken into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cooked orzo. Re-season with salt and pepper, if needed, and keep warm over low heat while the eggs cook.
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 the butter. When the butter begins to sizzle, crack 2 eggs into the skillet and fry until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (or until desired degree of doneness). Repeat with the remaining butter and 2 eggs.

Broccoli Mixture Beginning to Cook

Milk Mixture and Chicken Added

Thickened Orzo Mixture
To serve, divide the orzo mixture among 4 shallow bowls and top each with a fried egg. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper and garnish with the dark green parts of the scallions. Serve right away.

Creamy Chicken Orzo with Broccoli and Fried Egg

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