Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chicken with Tomatoes, Basil, and Feta served over Orzo


This recipe for chicken with tomatoes, basil and feta comes from a Cooking Light special edition publication, Cooking Light 5 ingredient 15 minute cookbook with 136 recipes. It was on the news stands this past spring. I made a few changes of my own to the chicken, served it over orzo substituting almonds for the pine nuts and it was an instant hit in our family. Not only did it taste wonderful, it looked as good as it tasted, which is often not the case.


The 5 ingredient 15 minute idea must have been a success because they have expanded the idea and have a new cookbook – Cooking Light’s Fresh Food Fast with over 280 recipes.

When I first looked through Cooking Light’s Fresh Food Fast I thought it was a cross between Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee. Rachael because of the fast. Sandra Lee’s semi-homemade idea because the book suggests using, as an example, pre-chopped peppers, frozen rice, and bottled dressings, none of which I would normally use. However, because the chicken with tomatoes recipe was a hit, I decided to give the book a try, but with one exception. If a recipe called for bottled dressing as an example, I would simply make my own. Or with frozen rice, I would use my normal brown rice even though it takes 35 minutes to cook instead of ten.

I recommend the book if you are looking for dishes that require a minimum amount of time and effort and that are full of fresh flavors. In fact I like it so much that I will feature another recipe from the book in my next post.


Chicken with Tomatoes, Basil, and Feta
Adapted from Cooking Light’s Fresh Food Fast

2 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
¾ cup grape tomatoes, halved
10 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon small basil leaves, torn

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat about 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil in a 10” non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.

Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool a little. Meanwhile combine the tomatoes, olives, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the tomato mixture to the pan and heat over medium heat and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until tomatoes soften. Spoon over chicken. Top evenly with cheese and basil. Serve over Orzo with Slivered Almonds. Yield: 2 servings

Printable recipe including orzo with slivered almonds


Serve with Orzo with Slivered Almonds
Adapted from Cooking Light’s Fresh Food Fast

½ cup uncooked orzo
½ cup spring greens mix, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions. I salted the water, which they didn’t suggest but I do not like pasta cooked without salt. Drain pasta when done. Toss the spring greens mix with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, add the rosemary, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss with orzo and toasted almonds.

Several bloggers participate in a Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. Among them include two of my favorite blogs, Val of More Than Burnt Toast and Helene of La Cuisine d’Helen. If you enjoy Cooking Light’s recipes as I do, you’ll want to check out their Supper Club by clicking to either of the above blogs. Val says they will also be featured on the Cooking Light blog site, Test Kitchen Secrets.

36 comments:

  1. Wonderful recipe, Sam.
    I love all these ingredients, I'll be trying this soon

    ReplyDelete
  2. That does sound and look really good. The basil and tomato always work together nicely.

    Is your basil plant on it's last legs after the cold snap? We harvested the last of ours last night and some of the edges were turning purple.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bet Fresh Food Fast is going to be a hit, especially for working moms and especially if it has a focus on healthy dishes.

    This looks like a fantastically refreshing dish! Thanks for sharing!

    Best,

    Christine

    ReplyDelete
  4. It looks delicious, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Umm -- looks like a must try. I know it'll be good -- love all those flavors.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I immediately went to the fridge to see if I had any feta - this looks very tasty.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yum, looks healthy and flavorful! Great choice :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Can't wait to try this one,Sam. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cooking Light has to be my favourite magazine. Love this particular dish with it's Mediterranean flavours.

    ReplyDelete
  10. With balsamic and feta how could you go wrong. Sounds so good and I'm starving!

    ReplyDelete
  11. If it tastes as good as it looks, it must be delicious. I agree with you about the frozen rice and bottled dressing. I always feel like I'm cheating when I use ready made ingredients.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I need that 15 minute cookbook! This looks amazing! I love some orzo.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This recipe reminds me of summer, which I was wish was still here.
    I love orzo and anything with feta cheese.
    I will be making this too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh Sam, this sounds delicious! I love everything about it. I am going to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A delicious meal! So great that it's done in 15 minutes! I like the almonds with the orzo!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The chicken looks nicely grilled and the colors on your plate is just beautiful. Isn't it wonderful to fill ones tummy with the healthy stuff????

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a wonderful meal that I would love. Cooking Light is great!

    ReplyDelete
  18. It looks great Sam. By the way I took your advice and made Ina's Salami and cucumber appetizers and they were a big hit at our candidates meet and greet. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. MMMMM,...Sam!! This dish is rich in coulours & flavours!! all of these flavours are beautifully combined!!

    Yum Yum yum,..

    ReplyDelete
  20. Delish Sam....thank you so much for the link to French Essence. Have a wonderful weekend, xv.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mouth watering, my favorite flavors, and easy, too! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Sam, Just found you through TW's site. I think Cooking Light has so many wonderful dishes that are healthy and delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My, but this looks good,Sam. What a wonderful recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I believe I saw this cookbook at Costco, I just discovered recently how wonderful CL recipes are.

    This is a perfect choice, great flavors, pretty colors..

    I , like you, would swap out the bottled dressing.. dont care for that 'stuff'

    ReplyDelete
  25. I always grab the Weight Watchers 5 ingredient, 15 minutes books when I see them, but I've never run across a Cooking Light one!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm always looking for more chicken recipes (we eat chicken 9 out of 10 times) and this looks really good. Fast and easy is a plus during the working week.

    I'm a bit leery about cooking light recipes. They do seem to use more processed foods that what I keep on hand, but like what you did...they're often times a good starting base :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This dish looks so tempting! :-)

    I ADORE "COOKING LIGHT" MAGAZINE!
    I brought my whole collection with me when I moved to Europe. So many of my favorite recipes come from Cooking Light. I truly miss not being able to go the newsstand and simply buy an issue!

    I simply have not found any German or Italian food magazine that comes close to the American ones, like Cooking Light, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Gourmet (Gourmet!), even Martha's Living or Cook's Illustrated. Now in October, I feel almost depressed thinking of all the Thanksgiving issues on American newsstands, I miss the opportunity to continue my collection. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sam, I will be right over. I'll even bring my own plate and fork. That looks DIVINE!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sam,
    This is a wonderful recipe and I can't wait to try it out. I enjoy reading your blog very much. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like orzo and I'm always looking for new recipes to use it. That looks perfect and delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  31. There's such a good selection of fast, simple recipes now, and this one looks very tasty. I do like the idea of orzo as a base.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I totally agree with you-- I don't buy bottled salad dressing and I try to make everything from scratch. This looks like a flavorful dish, and I will consider buying this cookbook, cased on your recommendation. Fast, healthy and taste works just for me!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love your resolve to make the extra effort and not take too many shortcuts, like bottled salad dressing! This dish looks great but can you believe that I am having such a hard time finding orzo at stores here? I've already checked at 3 different places and none had it in stock. Is there an orzo shortage I don't know about ? 8-)

    ReplyDelete
  34. got three of my favourites...what more can I say?...

    ReplyDelete
  35. This looks terrific and easy, even ditching the pre-made stuff. I remember when I first started cooking, Sandra Lee and Cooking Light presented insurmountable circumstances for me. Now that's where I go when I don't want to be bothered with anything challenging. That's not meant to insult either of them, but rather to pat myself on the back. :) I will make this soon and let you know when I do! - Gary

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy reading each and every comment. If you leave a comment with a question or that requires an answer, please leave an address or way for me to get in touch with you. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam