Week 16 – Chicken and Orzo with Spinach and Feta

IMG_4063Normal life is the best.  Another week full of time to work out, catch up on TV shows, and not being stressed out about work.  On Wednesday I took the day to volunteer with a couple of coworkers at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park facility.  This place it the coolest.  A group of 8th graders (like 150 of them) come and learn about money and budgeting.  They get a life scenario when the arrive, it tells them their occupation, gross income, family situation, credit score and other stuff.  Then they get to see how much the pay decreases after taxes.  And then they have to budget for 18 different things – groceries, health insurance, school loans, entertainment, rent….  It’s great.  They should make college students go through that place.

Saturday we went to Great Falls State Park for a little hiking. It was 5-10 degrees colder than I’d want it to be but once we got moving it was fine.  It was really nice, I had no idea this place was so close to us.  Apparently the river is a training place of the olympic kayaking slalom team.  Andddd I recently found this article so next time we might have a buddy with us!  And next year I’ll probably insist on this hike a week or two sooner.  The fall colors were still pretty, but the trees would have been fuller a week or two ago.  So yeah, a pretty neat place and a good use of a Saturday afternoon.

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This week we finished up our blue apron delivery with Congee & Caramelized Pork.  It was pretty delicious but not something I’d seek all the ingredients out to make it again.  For our normal new recipe for the week we made Chicken Orzo with Spinach and Feta.  This was from a cookbook we got as a wedding gift – America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook.  We doubled the recipe so there’d be leftovers so everything below is doubled.  But cut it in half if you want something just for two of you!  Since the recipe was doubled I used our skillet with taller sides, instead of the standard frying pan, and it was the perfect size.  Very little prep work for this one, so that was nice.  Took about 25-30 minutes all together.  The recipe was delicious with little prep work, I’ll definitely make this again.

Chicken and Orzo with Spinach and Feta

Makes: 4+  servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup orzo
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh oregano, or ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 or 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth, plus extra as needed
  • 6-8 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 ½ tsp lemon juice (½ large lemon, juiced)

Directions:

  1. Toast orzo in a 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in the now empty skillet and heat just until smoking.  Brown chicken lightly, 3-4 minutes per side, transfer to plate (will finish cooking chicken later).
  3. Add remaining oil, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the now empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and toasted orzo.
  4. Nestle browned chicken into orzo, add any accumulated juices, bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until chicken registers 160 degrees, 10-12 minutes, flipping chicken half-way through cooking.  Transfer chicken to a plate, brushing off extra orzo.
  5. Continue to cook orzo until al dente and creamy, 2-5 minutes, stirring in additional broth, 1 Tbsp at a time, as needed to loosen consistency. Stir in spinach, until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Stir in feta and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve chicken with orzo.

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