Yummy note: Usually make this chicken a lot in the summer time on the grill. Really this is the best way to prepare the chicken, but since the grill has some snow and ice on it still and it's a bit too cold to venture outside, the oven will do just as nice. The recipe turned out just as good when I baked it, but I can not wait for warmer temperatures to hand off the chicken to the husband to fire up the grill for some yummy Italian grilled chicken...
Italian Chicken and Warm Orzo
1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Mix
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
juice from 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime
1-2 lbs of chicken breast
In a big measuring cup or bowl, mix the Italian dressing mix according to the package directions using the vinegar, water, and oils. Next add in the juices from the lemon and lime. Next place the chicken breast pieces in a gallon-sized zipper plastic baggie and pour the dressing mixture over the chicken. Close the bag and put in the fridge and let it marinate for atleast 20-30 minutes. If you are not in a rush, I'd let it marinate for atleast an hour for more flavoring.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next place chicken pieces in a baking dish and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches atleast 165 degrees or until juices run clear.
Warm Orzo Dish
1/2 box of Orzo pasta
1 14.5 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes w/ Garlic & Olive Oil
1 cup thawed frozen corn
1/2 of a green pepper-sliced thin
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed, stems removed
1-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese - shredded
salt/pepper to taste
Bring a pan of water to boil to for the orzo. Once water is boiling, add orzo pasta and cook about 9-10 minutes. While orzo is cooking, prepare the spinach and peppers. Trim the ends off of the spinach and cut into small julienned-like strips. Clean the green pepper and slice finely either half or a whole pepper to your liking, it is up to you. In a fry pan, add the butter and about 1 tablespoon or 2 of olive oil. Heat pan and add spinach and peppers and stir until peppers are tender and spinach has reduced down. Next add in corn and can of tomatoes. Don't drain the juice from the diced tomatoes, as that adds more flavor.
Stir and simmer all ingredients for about 5-10 minutes. At this point, your orzo pasta should be done. After you drain the orzo, you can add the orzo and the vegetable mixture together and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top of the warm orzo.
Variations: If you want if cheesier, you can stir in additional cheese at the end as well as just adding it to the top. Also, a nice way to finish up the orzo is to serve it in a whole roasted pepper as well. You can bake this as well, such as put the orzo mix into the cleaned out pepper "cup" I'll call it and bake it in the oven for a few minutes to roast it. After a few minutes, add on some parmesan cheese to make a nice crispy cheesy top.