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Chicken Piccata and Orzo?

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I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner and this was the answer I got. What is throwing me off is the orzo. I usually serve with rice- either jasmine or basmati, whatever I have on hand.

What would you do to integrate the orzo?

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  1. You can make an orzo risotto - Mark Bittman has a recipe in his big yellow book (How to Cook Everything)... sorry I don't have access to the book right now but perhaps someone else can paraphrase. But basically you saute minced onion in olive oil, add the orzo, coat it, add stock and cook unti the orzo is al dente - then mix in parmesan cheese and italian parsley... I've made it a few times and my husband loves it. I think it would be terrific with chicken piccata (which I made last night for dinner with real risotto!)

    1. Parmesan Orzo: cook 2 cups orzo as per package directions. Drain and add back to pot with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 3 Tbsp butter and a splash or two of cream. Mix until combined (mixture should not be runny, if it is, add more parmesan to bind). Add 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon and some fresh, chopped basil.

      1. My orzo recipe is from Pam Anderson's How to Cook Without a Book. Wonderful, nice and creamy. I make orzo often with my chicken piccata; with that dish, I think toasted pine nuts are a nice complement.

        1 1/3 cups orzo
        salt
        2 T. butter or olive oil
        6 T. grated Parm
        ground pepper

        Boil water. Add 1 t. salt and the orzo. Boil until orzo is tender and has absorbed the cooking liquid, about 8 minutes. Stir in the butter or oil, Parm, pepper and optional flavorings.

        Her ideas for sprucing it up: lemon and parsley, blue cheese and walnuts, basil and pine nuts, tomatoes feta and olives, roasted peppers and basil, or spinach and parmesan.

        1. For salads, I treat orzo as a rice - Cook it according to the package (usually boil in water like pasta) but I'll toss it with some oil and veggies to make a light dish.

          For hot sides, I just treat orzo like pasta, but lightly dressed with some butter and grated parm. Since it's usually being served with something with a sauce, I don't do too much to it but just serve it as a side on the plate.

          1. I totally forgot to check for your replies before I started dinner but I ended up doing something very similar. I quickly sauteed some garlic and shallot in olive oil and butter, toasted the orzo and added a bit of rosemary, kosher salt and fresh pepper. Added a mixture of broth and white wine and cooked it as I would risotto. Delicious and so easy.

            Thanks for all your help!