Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Orzo and Veggies

This month Greg and I are trying to eat "thrifty", yet good. We found that if we plan out meals we end up spending less, and so we planned out as many meals as we could from ingredients that we have on hand. We almost always have everything needed for this recipe, and we put it at the top of our list!

I made this once before when Greg had an evening off, and it turned out really well. This version of Parmesan Chicken is also the light version. There is no dredging the chicken in egg or melted butter, no pan frying, and light on the breading. Since all of those removed steps/ingredients add so much flavor, I added the zest of one whole lemon along with sea salt to compensate. And, instead of serving over spaghetti, we chose whole wheat orzo with a nice vegetable medley. We've been using frozen veggies more lately. I know that everything is in season right now, but the frozen mixes are just so affordable while allowing a great variety of veggies with absolute minimal prep time. Next year, we will have to have some sort of garden so we won't have to buy veggies, and then drive home to prep; we'll just walk out onto our patio!

But anyway, this is pretty tasty. The lemon makes it feel like a summer dish, but for the fall I might want to skip on the zest, and then serve it over roasted sweet potato or a winter squash. Yum. It's also a very fast recipe, since the chicken tenders only take about 20 minutes to cook.


3-4 Chicken tenders, thawed
3 TBS each of flour, corn meal, and parmesan cheese
1 C. frozen veggies
1/2 box whole wheat orzo
marinara sauce to taste
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
extra virgin olive oil

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Mix the flour, corn meal, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper together
-Rub flour mixture onto chicken tenders
-Bake the chicken tenders on a greased baking sheet or pan for about 20 minutes or until cooked
-While the chicken is cooking, boil orzo as directed. In the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add the frozen veggies. Drain and toss with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and marinara sauce to taste.
-Serve chicken on top of pasta and veggies, top with a bit of mozzarella.