Orzo with Chicken and Asiago Cheese

I really started to cook well for myself after my summer in DC. My cousin Kathy and her husband were nice enough to let me stay with them that summer while I completed an internship at the Smithsonian Institute Archives. Kathy and Scott are both doctors who have busy lives (even busier now with their son Jackson) so Kathy was very good about meal planning. It was Kath who taught me some of my favorite recipes – recipes that can last me a week if I double them or dishes that freeze well for nights when I don’t feel like cooking. This recipe is one of my all time favorites.

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago is quick and easy to make and only requires one pot to make so an easy clean-up. I also like the nice zing the spices add to this dish, making it something different from my normal fare. Also, handily, this is not a picky recipe. I haven’t been able to find straight asiago cheese where I live but a shredded Italian blend from Walmart that includes asiago does the trick. I also find this is a great summer dish as it cooks fast and doesn’t need the oven so the kitchen doesn’t have time to get hot.

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago Cheese

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 can (16 oz.) of chicken broth
12 oz. skinned chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated asiago cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil or oregano (I prefer oregano)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
1) combine water and broth in a pan over heat; bring to boil
2) Add chicken and pasta; bring to boil
3) Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occassionally
4) Remove from heat; stir in peas, 1/4 cheese cheese, salt, herbs and pepper
5) Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of cheese

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