Saturday, September 6, 2014

Creamy Chicken Orzo Hotdish

Hotdish is a variety of casserole which typically contains a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned and/or frozen vegetable, mixed with canned soup. The dish is popular in Minnesota and North Dakota.  Wisconsin hotdish typically adds an amount of cream and cheese to the mix.  Hotdish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at communal gatherings such as family reunions and church suppers. (From Wikipedia)

My definition is much shorter - comfort food.  They also forgot that it's easy to put together especially after work.  My recipe does not have canned soup since I do not buy that and prefer to make my own and freeze it for those days that you either do not feel like cooking or have a cold.

Creamy Chicken Orzo Hotdish

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces and cooked
1 cup Orzo, cooked per instructions on box (about 10 minutes in boiling salted water)
3/4 cup Colby Jack shredded cheese
1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook chicken in a small frying pan with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Add in minced garlic right before it's completely done and cook for another minute.  Cook Orzo and drain.  Put in a greased casserole.  Add in peas that are cooked or thawed if frozen, cheese and cooked chicken breast pieces.  Stir in milk and spices.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.