Thursday, January 10, 2008

Athenian Orzo


Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, makes a delightful base for an authentically Greek combination of chicken (or shrimp), tomatoes and feta. To serve as a side dish, omit the shrimp and drain the tomatoes before adding them.


1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided (or you can use a tbsp of dry parsley)
1 tablespoon drained capers (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes (or shrimp) (i used 2 chicken breasts and next time I'll add a little bit more)

1 cup orzo (It calls for 1 cup but I felt that was too much, so next time I'll try 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or other 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Heat oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, capers, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Drop in shrimp and cook, stirring, until barely pink, about 2 1/2 minutes.
3. Cook orzo in the boiling water until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Toss with the tomato-shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with feta and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley.
4. Bake, uncovered, until the feta is bubbly, about 10 minutes.



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