Lemon Chicken Orzo Pasta Recipe from TV Chef Charles Wiley!

Manic:  Me trying to come up with dinner ideas that include healthy veggies in the ingredients that my family will eat…and love, too!

Managed:  Remembering my favorite recipe that I watched Chef Charles Wiley from Cafe ZuZu at the Scottsdale Hotel Valley Ho prepare one day when I was doing our KTVK morning show.  I found the recipe, made it with lots of fresh veggies and chicken and my family loved it!  The recipe is called Lemon Chicken Orzo with Spring Vegetables and it is delicious! Even though it isn’t spring anymore, I was still able to get terrific veggies straight from my Farmbox program that Sunizona Family Farms provides, so this recipe is yummy right now, too!  Try it…

What You Need:

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut in 1 inch pieces, diagonally

1 small yellow squash

1 whole cooked chicken, boned and diced

1 cup orzo pasta, cooked al dente and drained

1 cup chicken broth

1 lemon, juice and zest

Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

What You Do:

1.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, onion, garlic and carrot and saute until tender.

2.  Add the asparagus, zucchini and squash and saute briefly.  3.  Add the cooked chicken, cooked orzo pasta, broth and lemon.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring until mixture begins to thicken.  4.  Stir in the remaining butter, 1/2 cup of the cheese and transfer to a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with the basil and pine nuts.  Serve with the remaining cheese and enjoy!

A few notes….I used too much Orzo…stick with the 1 cup that Chef Wiley has in the recipe.  My picture has too much pasta and not enough veggies shown because I accidentally used too much of the orzo.  I also omitted the pine nuts because my daughter is allergic to tree nuts, but I’ve had it with the pine nuts and it is really better with the pine nuts, although my family still loved the dish, I’m happy to report!

Done and yum!

I also highly recommend this dish with a good glass of Pinot Grigio Vino, too!