mediterranean skillet chicken with parmesan orzo

090913 dinnerThis meal is so simple and delicious… perfect for busy Monday nights!

There are four servings at a total cost of about $6, or $1.50 per serving.

We had a number of ingredients on hand, so the actual cost would be significantly more if we had to buy the orzo ($1), broth ($2), parmesan cheese ($4) and basil ($3)… but then we’d have leftover ingredients for next time, so it’s a win-win.  The Dollar Tree may even sell these items.

Get your chicken skillet going, and then make the orzo, as the chicken can simmer for as long as needed.  The Greek worked late last night, so dinner was 45 minutes later than normal… and it still came out great.  I’m convinced that extra simmering makes it extra tasty (although you’ll want to remove the orzo from the heat once it’s done or it will dry out).

Seriously one of the easiest meals ever!

To begin, assemble your ingredients and take a picture of them.  Or not… your call.


Mediterranean Skillet Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (for us, that was 2 large breasts, which I cut in half to be about the size of a deck of cards.  You can put the breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to the same thickness if you want to be sure they all cook at the same rate.)
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives (as you can see, I bought the olives unsliced and cut them into thirds on my own.  Save the remaining olives for the Easy Mexican Chicken later in the week.)
  1. Heat oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the four chicken pieces in oil until brown, about 5 minutes, turning once.  Sprinkle a little black pepper over the breasts, to taste.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling then reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

You can start on the orzo while you’re waiting for the chicken to start boiling or while it’s simmering.  If you’ve ever made rice-a-roni, you can make this, and it’s twice as good!

Parmesan Orzo (adapted recipe)

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • juice of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 1 cup  vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet or pot that has a lid.  Stir in the orzo and saute until lightly browned.  Keep an eye on it, stirring constantly, as this happens pretty quickly, and you don’t want it to burn.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice, broth and water and bring to a boil.  Stir in a little dried basil (about 1/4 teaspoon).  Cover.  Reduce heat and simmer until  orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  If the orzo is tender but there is still liquid in the pan, remove the lid to let it evaporate.  Remove from heat once the liquid is gone.
  3. Mix in parmesan cheese and salt and black pepper to taste.

I served this with canned Italian-style green beans, which I heated in the microwave (aka Chef Mike) for about 3 minutes… couldn’t be simpler. Serve one piece of chicken, spooning the delicious tomato/olive mixture over the top, a healthy dollop of orzo and some green beans.


Note: You can print this recipe by clicking the “Print and PDF” button below – it will allow you to delete as much of the text and pictures as you want prior to printing so you don’t waste ink/paper.


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