Time to pay the piper: Creamy Orzo with Chicken and Mushrooms
January 7, 2009
After eight months of daring baking, Thanksgiving, a Christmas party, gallons of cream, pounds of chocolate, and bricks of butter, I had to take a cold look at my jeans I was having trouble buttoning. No, the jeans weren’t shrinking in the wash – it was the almost 8 pounds I have gained in the past year. So, I, along with millions of others, decided to shed those extra pounds this new year.
I dusted off my old Weight Watchers cookbooks and decided to try this recipe from In One Pot, a surprisingly good cookbook for those trying to lose weight while still wanting to cook with real ingredients (translation: nary a condensed cream of anything soup to be seen). I decided to try this orzo recipe since it is similar to a mushroom risotto I blogged about a month or so ago. Orzo is an easy alternative to the constant stirring risotto requires.
CREAMY ORZO WITH CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS
Adapted from Weight Watchers In One Pot
1 C. serving = 5 points
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
3/4 lb fresh shiitake, crimini or baby bella mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced
1/3 C. dry sherry
2 C. low-fat milk (1%)
4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 C. cooked orzo
10 oz. cooked chicken breast
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add sherry and cook until it evaporates, about 1 minute.
Combine milk, cornstarch , salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl until smooth. Add the milk mixture into the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the orzo and chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally until heated through for several minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.