13 February 2008

Chicken Breast with Orzo, Carrots, Dill and Avgolemono Sauce

In our hectic and fast paced lives we need healthy and delicious meals for those busy week day meals. This chicken dish with Greek undertones suits the bill perfectly. Avgolemono sauce is a Greek contribution to the world's cuisine. It is a delicate blend of chicken broth, dill and lemon thickened lightly with egg. I remember visiting a restaurant on the island of Santorini that had every imaginable food in Avgolemono Sauce. I would have liked to try them all!!! That would mean that I would have had to extend my stay, but, I would have been willing to make the sacrifice...insert picture of Val doing the happy dance here!!

This particular chicken recipe comes from Food and Wine Magazine . It has been on my list of things to try for sometime now. It is quick... with simple, yet distinct flavours.

In the Spring...which is just around the corner...insert picture of Val crossing her fingers here... asparagus would substitute beautifully for the carrots in the orzo.

According to Food & Wine Magazine, "Lemon and dill work best with a full-flavoured white wine with a decent acidity. Try one from the southern part of Burgundy such as Macon or Pouilly-Fuisse (both made from Chardonnay grapes)." Of course you could also try a Canadian chardonnay as well :D such as Mission Hill.

**Chicken Breast with Orzo, Carrots, Dill and Avgolemono**

2 T olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 -1/3 pounds )
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 -1/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 tsp dried dill ( I used fresh)
1- 1/2 cups orzo
4 carrots, quartered and cut into 2-inch lengths
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice

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In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken breasts with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the broth, dill, and 1 -1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is just done, about 4 minutes. Remove the chicken and cover lightly with aluminum foil to keep warm. Set aside the pan with the broth.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo for 6 minutes. Add the carrots and continue cooking until the orzo and carrots are just done, about 6 minutes longer. Drain and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, beat the eggs, lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper until frothy. Bring the chicken broth back to a simmer and add to the eggs in a thin stream, whisking. Pour the mixture back into the pan and whisk over the lowest possible heat until the sauce begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Do not let the sauce come to a simmer, or it may curdle. Put the orzo and carrots on plates and top with the chicken and sauce.

NOTE: This dish was delicious with light lemony flavour. My only thought for change was with the sauce. To get the sauce to thicken I had to raise the temperature considerably which had the potential for curdling the eggs. Perhaps this could be avoided if you added a little flour or corntarch to the broth in the pan first as a thickening agent.

I give you a photo of my dad who is a stunner...quite the charming "bloke". Could he pass for Greek or even Italian ????????????

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24 comments:

  1. Food and wine had wonderful recipes, sometimes I inspired me on. Your chicken breast looks delicious ,healthy and full of flavors

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  2. I have my chicken breasts in the fridge and this afternoon I'm buying the rest of ingredients I miss. I'll let you know how it was!!! Having it for dinner.

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  3. Val, this is a great looking dish...very Greek with orzo, chicken and Avgolemeno, of course.

    You're right about the asparugus which also pairs well with Avgolemeno!

    I think you dad looks like a Manoli!

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  4. I have "Best of Food and Wine" book with a collections of recipes by different cookbook authors, love it. That is a great great dish, it has everything!! I made Pomegranate soup at FH, peek in!:))

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  5. Avgolemeno sounds so tasty and tangy. Orzo is my favorite pasta. You always do great things with chicken .

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  6. That looks really good. I love orzo anything. It is just such a great little pasta. Yeah, your dad could pass ;)

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  7. This looks delicious Val, although I have never had orzo with avgolemono but this I have noted for a future recipe to try. I have to go and check at Pixie's blog, because I think I started the question about Malta. What I meant is that other European women of that age are usually dressed in more colourful clothes where elderly women in Greece and Cyprus often were black as it a custom when they mourn.

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  8. Val, that looks really tasty!
    Your dad definitely looks Italian or Greek!

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  9. Valli your Dad looks so handsome!!!!
    And the dish looks yummy!!! Gloria

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  10. I love Food & Wine magazine Sylvia!
    I hope you enjoy the dish Nuria...I did!!
    I am assuming Peter that Manoli is a Greek name :D
    I checked out your soup Asha..looks very tasty!!
    Chicken and fish are my favourites Glamah.. I am less likely to eat red meat on any given day...but do sometimes :D
    I love orzo as well Jenn...tiny bites of pasta..great in soup too!
    Widows in all of the European countries seem to wear black. We had a large Portuguese and Italian community where I grew up.
    Thanks mary and Gloria..my dad is a charming "bloke" with ice blue eyes. He just turned 80 at Christmas :D

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  11. Looks delicious! I'd never heard of Avgolemono before, but I'll definitely have to try it out

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  12. I love this magazine. I subscribed last year. I never made an Avgolemono sauce.

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  13. wow, that looks delicious! i am putting it on my to try list :)

    you've been tagged! :)
    http://good-eats-n-sweet-treats.blogspot.com/2008/02/memememememememememe.html

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  14. Hey you dad can pass off as Greek! Now that explains all this Greek food on your blog ;-)

    You have so many recipes for chicken, it's amazing! And it all looks so good.

    Happy Valentines' Day, dear!

    xnora

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  15. That chicken sounds so tasty! Dill and lemon are some of my favorite flavours. This reminds me that I have not made an avgolemono sauce in a while.

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  16. Avgolemono sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to try it.
    It probably would go well with the dill. Dill reminds me of summertime.

    I like your wine pairings; you're like a sommelier.

    You're dad is handsome!

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  17. what a wonderful looking dish!

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  18. Hola Val, I did it! It was delicious!!!! The sauce is spectacular, so different of what we are used to! However, forgot the dill, ooohh and instead of orzo had rice... But I tell you, soo good! Thanks.

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  19. Hi Val, oh this is one great looking dish and those chicken breast look so juicy and delicious mmmmm...

    Your dad really is a stunner that's for sure ;)

    Wishing you a very Happy Valentines Day Val!

    I would like to present you on this Valentines Day a Red Rose

    http://rosiebakesapeaceofcake.blogspot.com/2008/02/for-my-valentine-cupcakes.html

    Rosie x

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  20. I am so glad you enjoyed the dish Nuria. It has beome one of new favourites with it's simple flavours and quick preparation :D
    Thak you for the Rose Rosie...I will move on over and check it out :D

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  21. Val, I have everything I need to make this, orzo and all! only dried dill though. You've inspired me to make this for dinner! BTW, Dad looks like he could be a member of the original Rat Pack!Very Handsome!!!

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  22. Anything Greek works for me! Love avgolemono sauce, which I'm more used to seeing on dolmades than on chicken. But this looks absolutely yummy! (And so does your dad!! ;-)

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  23. Val, I made this for dinner, it was delicious!!The Avgolemeno had the best flavor, Hubby and I were very happy! Thank You

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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