Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Herb Roasted Chicken and Creamy Parmesan Basil Orzo

Every year for Valentine's day I make Hirsh a special dinner. This year, I decided that I wanted to make chicken on the bone. Because I usually get home late from work we typically make de-boned chicken breasts, so using chicken on the bone is actually pretty new for me. I had thought about making a whole chicken but decided to start slowly and just go with breasts on the bone. I bought a whole chicken cut up and had my first experience with giblets which resulted in a a lot of "ew grosses!" and that part of the chicken promptly ending up in the trash can. I saved the thighs, legs and wings and will investigate them at a later date.

I found this recipe for herb roasted chicken online and it was super easy and delicious-- I would definitely make it again (on a weekend when we have time!) I paired the chicken with creamy parmesan basil orzo and steamed asparagus. And to make it extra special, I served everything on my grandma's china that she gave us for our wedding. All and all a very successful Valentine's day dinner!

Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts
2-4 chicken breasts on the bone, skin on
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Combine oil and all seasonsings. Brush on chicken breasts on all sides. Put chicken in a ziplock bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours.
2. Preheat oven to 425.
3. Line a glass baking dish with foil and place chicken breasts, skin side up in the pan.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, basting once.
5. Remove foil, baste and cook for an additional 20 minutes, uncovered.
6. Baste with released juices and serve!

Difficulty: Easy
Debbie's Rating: 10
Hirsh's Rating: 9.5

Creamy Parmesan and Basil Orzo
1C orzo
1 tbsp buter
1 1/4 C low sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 C water
1/4 C grated parmesan
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook orzo for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add water and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until orzo is cooked and all liquid is absorbed.
4. Off heat, stir in parmesan and basil and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve immediately.

Difficulty: Easy
Debbie's Rating: 9
Hirsh's Rating: 9

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