Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mushy and Tasty Mess

I have no picture for this recipe because the pictures that I did take show that the meal had turned into a mushy mess. I decided that even though my experience with this recipe was not wonderful, someone else may have a better one. Unlike the other previous botched up cooking attempts (for example, Cooking Light Shrimp Curry mishap) I actually DID follow the recipe this time, measuring everything out as carefully as I could, and still I seemed to foul it up. The flavors in this recipe are good- I like the lemon, olives, and oregano. However, the proportion of orzo to chicken stock is in question (or it may be my fault too, which is very likely). Orzo tends to turn out somewhat creamy by itself, considering it is the rice for risotto. However, when I took the dish out of the oven, the orzo was not only creamy but almost melded together and stuck. It looked like golden oatmeal rather than rice. A loved it since he claims to like "mushy" things in general. I thought it tasted good although I did not enjoy the texture. However, I still brought it to work for lunch.

Chicken and Orzo with Lemon and Olives
*from Wednesday Chef

8 chicken drumsticks (I used six boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
Salt, pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups orzo
3 cups chicken broth
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives (I used Spanish olives to cut cost)
1 large bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, divided (I used 1 tablespoon of dried oregano)

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken legs well on all sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

2. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the legs well on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

3. Add the orzo, chicken stock, garlic, lemon wedges and juice, olives, bay leaf and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Stir to combine all the ingredients, then return the chicken to the pan. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is done (the meat will be firm and its juices will run clear). Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, sprinkle with the remaining oregano and serve.

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