I guess it’s not so much a fall dish, considering it relies on some great summer veg, but I like to make it in fall when it’s just starting to get cold out. I don’t really have a name for the dish either. When I want to make it, or others ask me to make it, it’s just “the orzo dish.” Anyways, I thought I’d share it with you guys. It’s full of veg and the chicken and orzo can easily be substituted for your own dietary needs or preferences. Also, I’m cooking for 4-5 people when I make this, so it’s a lot, but even if it’s just for 1 or 2, it’s great as leftovers.
Ingredients (for the veggie portion):
- 1-2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of woody ends and cut into thirds lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch wide slices
- 1-2 red bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1 inch chunks
- pat butter and 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt, pepper, granulated garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, and savory (enough of the herbs for the veg to be obviously flecked with seasoning)
I start out by sauteing the onion and pepper together in the butter and olive oil until they are slightly softened. I then add all of the other veg, with seasoning, and continue cooking until they are tender but not mushy.
While I cook the veg, in another pan I boil a box of orzo pasta. When it’s al dente, I drain it and cook it for another few minutes in about 3/4 cups of chicken stock or broth, until it is mostly absorbed.
In addition to the veg and orzo, I like to add chicken. I cut up enough skinless, boneless chicken thighs for each person to have two thighs worth of meat. I cut the thighs into meatball size chunks and cook in the same seasoning, plus poultry seasoning, until cooked through.
When all of the components are finished, I combine all three in one pan and stir. It’s a big pot. If you can, let the mix simmer for a couple of minutes to meld the flavors.
What I love most about this is its one-pot feel. While it certainly isn’t cooked that way, it’s a complete meal in one dish, which is always appealing to me. It’s also fairly easy to cook. Most of the work is prepping the veg and that doesn’t take too long or much effort.