When in doubt, it's chicken dinner time! Sure to please everyone for dinner. Except the baby, there's no hope there (sigh!). There's so many options to choose from. Chicken Parmesan? Chicken and Rice Casserole? Chicken Teriyaki? That one I actually made for dinner last week and was amazing. Maybe that'll be the next blog post.
But no, when your husband is all about some spinach and artichoke dip (and he's not wrong, who doesn't love it) you come up with a chicken dinner version. Sauteed Chicken over Spinach and Artichoke Orzo. The orzo is basically risotto. "Orz-otto" according to the husband. Whatever you want to call it, it's delectable.
For your next chicken dinner night, give it a try. There'll be no empty tummys in the house.
Here's how I made it...
First off, a little prep. Dicing onions, mincing garlic, chopping artichokes and slicing mushrooms. I know it doesn't say mushroom in the title but we are big fans. There's practically mushrooms in every dinner. If I put them in every dinner, regardless of what we have, the husband would be happy.
Now the chicken breasts I got at the store were, no joke, ginormous. So I split them in half so they would fully cook in the skillet. If you'd rather leave them thick, sear the outside and then bake in a 350 degree oven until the breasts are firm. Or at an internal temperature of 145 degrees. I'm a stickler for temps, I always check with a probe thermometer.
Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and creole. Saute in a little extra virgin olive oil over high heat. Be sure to use a fairly deep pan. This right here is a one pot wonder! (yay!)
See that nice brown there? Mmm gonna be good! Remove the chicken from the pan, and set it aside. DON'T wipe out the pan. You'd be wiping out all that yummy chickeny goodness.
Toss in your mushrooms. You'll need a little more oil. Mushrooms soak up a ton. Season and stir. Keep scraping the pan to get up all that flavor (otherwise known as fond.) Cook until the mushrooms are nearly done and have the beginnings of a nice caramelization.
Next add your onion and saute til they are soft and transparent.
Next add your artichokes, give a good stir. Then add your garlic. Keep stirring so the garlic doesn't burn. Normally now we'd add the liquid now and deglaze the pan. Mixing it up a little because next we add....
Orzo pasta!!! And if you can't tell by the steam, your pan should still be on high. Now definitely keep stirring so the pasta won't stick to the pan. You're basically toasting the orzo.
Now that your orzo is all toasty, and your pan is still super hot, deglaze with the white wine. Watch the steam! Then add in your chicken stock.
Now toss in your chopped spinach. Give it a stir and re-season. Cook til the spinach is just wilted. Then turn your heat down to medium. Check out that chicken in the background, mmmm.
Now here comes the fun part....the cheese! Add in the parmesan, cream cheese and mozzarella. Stir in to melt. You can add a little more chicken stock to keep it creamy if the orzo has soaked up all the liquid. Once all the cheese has melted, you're cooking just until the orzo is done.
I mean look at all the creamy goodness! Now slice up your chicken breasts and serve over the orzo.
All that's left to do it eat and enjoy!!
Sauteed Chicken over Spinach and Artichoke Orzo
Chicken Breast 4ea
Mushrooms 5 oz, sliced
Onion 1 ea, diced
Garlic 4 cloves, minced
Artichokes 1/2 can, rough chopped
Orzo pasta 1 cup, dry
Fresh Spinach 4 oz, chopped
White Wine 1/2 cup
Chicken Stock 2-3 cups
Parmesan 1/4 cup, grated
Cream Cheese 4 oz, cubed
Mozzarella 1 1/2 cup, shredded
Salt, Black Pepper and Creole Spice to season