Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken Scarpariello with Lemon Orzo

Don't ask me how to pronounce this, all I know is that it is delicious. There is this great little, authentic Italian restaurant a mile down the road from my house called Gino's. It has been there forever and everything is made from scratch. I have enjoyed this dish there a few times. It is one of my favorites. This is not exactly the same, but it's still yummy. This is a little spicy, so if you can't do hot, omit the cherry peppers.

Chicken Scarpariello
4 chicken breasts, total of 1 and 1/4 pounds
Salt and Pepper
extra virgin olive oil (couple turns of the pan)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 hot cherry peppers, drained and chopped
Big green olives, about 1/2 cup, sliced in half
1/2 can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine (I like Pinot Grigio)
1/2 cup chicken broth
handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped (also called Italian parsley)

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side or until no longer pink. Remove from the pan. Add the red and cherry peppers, olives, artichoke hearts and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes. Add wine and let reduce for 1 minute while scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth and bring to a bubble. Set the chicken back in the pan, add the parsley and let warm through for a couple of minutes. Serve over a bed of lemon orzo. See below.

Lemon Orzo
1/2 pound of orzo pasta, rice-shaped pasta, usually half a box
Kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
Black pepper
The zest and juice of 2 small lemons, or 1 big lemon
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a nice handful of Kosher salt. Add the orzo and cook for 8 minutes. Drain well and return to the pot. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with pepper and add the lemon zest, juice and parsley. Toss well. Divide among four plates, place a chicken breast on each plate and finish with scarpariello toppings and sauce.

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