Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lemon Chicken with Rosemary Orzo

2 medium zucchini
3 plum tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 large shallot, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped*
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. capers*
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. salt
Paprika to taste

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters; cut each quarter crosswise into slices. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and slice. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and 1 teaspoon paprika and mix well.

Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is brown. Stir in the orzo, shallot and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until light brown. Stir in the broth and cover. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat.

Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the orzo is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Fold in the zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper and wine. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the pasta is tender; do not overcook the vegetables. Stir in the lemon juice, capers, rosemary and salt and sprinkle with paprika to taste just before serving.

Serves 4

*Notes: I prefer red, yellow or orange bell peppers, as they are a bit sweeter than green bell peppers. I don't care for capers and didn't miss them one bit!

This is such a delicious and easy meal. Next time around, I think I'll toss in a half pound or so of shrimp. Yum!

Original recipe adapted from Colorado Colore: A Palate of Tastes

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rocky Mountain Potato Chowder

1/4 lb. (4-6 slices) bacon, cut into small pieces
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (include green tops)
2-14 1/2 oz cans low-sodium chicken broth (3 1/2 cups)
3-4 potatoes (1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cubed
1 cup sliced carrot
1 red bell pepper or 1/2 lb. tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 Tbsp. dried thyme
2 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey or chicken
2 cups low-fat milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large heavy pot over medium heat, brown bacon. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Pour off remaining bacon fat and add green onions (reserve 1/2 cup dark tops) to the pot; stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add broth and potatoes; cover and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are not quite tender.

Add carrots, cooking 5 minutes more.

Add bell pepper, zucchini, corn and thyme; cook until vegetables are tender.

Add turkey/chicken and reserved onion tops.

Mix milk with cornstarch and add to soup.

Bring to boil, stirring constantly (about 1 minute), until soup begins to thicken slightly.

Season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon pieces right before serving.

Makes 2 1/2 quarts; 6 servings


The original recipe calls for quartered potatoes. I like a smaller bite-size piece, so I adjusted the cooking time a bit so they wouldn't get mushy. Also, I like my bacon crispy, so instead of keeping it in the pot with all the vegetables and broth, I add the cooked pieces to the individual soup bowls before serving. I generally need to thin the chowder with a bit of water or broth when serving leftovers, as most of the liquid disappears with the initial servings. As with most soups, you can add or delete any of the vegetables to suit your personal tastes.

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