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 tablespoons lemon juice
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 ????????????