Orzo with Chicken and Goat Cheese

I made a few modifications to this recipe even though it’s not something I usually do the first time around, but I enjoy taking recipes and making them my own. My fridge had a few things that needed to be used up, crimini mushrooms were one of them. I loved the mushrooms with the creamy richness of the pasta and goat cheese and the crunch of the panko topping. I was able to use more of my flavor-packed sun dried tomato pesto in place of the chopped sun dried tomatoes, which we spooned on top of our serving. If you don’t have homemade chicken stock, I recommend buying a good quality boxed stock. I also didn’t use uncooked chicken breasts in this, but added roasted chicken to the dish about half way into the baking time. Also, this recipe makes a lot of food so it would be great for company. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orzo with Chicken and Goat Cheese – adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
  • 1 lb orzo
  • 3 cups roasted and shredded chicken
  • 6oz log chevre, broken up and crumbled with two forks
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Juice from half a lemon (~2 tsp), and the zest
  • 4 cups chicken broth (*I used this stock)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 3/4 cup Panko
  • sun dried tomato pesto for topping
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 400. Add orzo, chicken, chevre, thyme, and lemon juice to a 2.5-3qt baking dish.
2. Bring chicken broth, water, 1 Tbsp butter, salt, and pepper to a boil. Pour into the baking dish, stirring slightly to mix. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. While the pasta is baking, saute the mushrooms, garlic and shallot in a drizzle of olive oil – cook for about 7 minutes or until browned and softened. At about 25 minutes into the bake time, carefully take the pan out of the oven and add the sauteed mushrooms and shredded chicken. Stir to combine and place back in the oven.
4. Mix Parmesan and Panko together. Melt remaining butter in a small dish and add to panko mixture. Stir the butter into the bread crumbs until well incorporated. Give the dish a quick stir and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top. Bake for another 7-10 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
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