Chicken, Mushrooms, Spinach and Orzo
{A perfect one-pot meal that allows you to read while dinner heats}

I am finally done with the Justin Cronin's "The Passage" Series. Three big fat books in the trilogy. Do you like apocalyptic lit? If so, you will probably like these books. When you are fully engaged in a book and the endings of each chapter leaves you wanting a little more .....I ask you, how can you possibly get a decent dinner on the table?

These are days I want meal prep to be simple. A One-Pot meal is usually super easy and it allows me to sit at the table and read my book. The important things in life. Here is a creamy one pot meal that's pure comfort food. Look at it, brimming with juices and yummy spinach and mushrooms.

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Seeing as we like spinach, we served it with a Baby Spinach, Bacon and Tomato salad.

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So at this point you may be thinking about substitutions if you can't abide mushrooms. They do, after all, provide some bulk in this meal. My friend Ashley suggested using roasted peppers or tomatoes. I think she's on to something there. Tomatoes would certainly add a new flavor dimension.

Thanks Ashley for the great suggestion! Maybe she will start her own foodie site soon and we can swap recipes. (hint, hint)


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I will still add mushrooms to ours as we like them. A little less orzo next time as it makes so much. Pasta is deceiving like that....makes way more than you thought it would. But next time I will add tomatoes and perhaps a cup of fresh corn. Here is the recipe below but substitute and change out per your taste. I always do that.



One Pot Chicken, Mushroom & Spinach Starring Orzo

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of butter
1 onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
½ teaspoon each dried thyme and oregano
4 strips of bacon, chopped
Boneless chicken thighs (or breast if you prefer that part of the chicken.)
About 1 to 1 and ¼ cup orzo (uncooked)
Almost 4 cups chicken broth
Lots of mushrooms! I used about 10 ounces, sliced
A cup (or 8 ounces) of fresh spinach
Half cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Juice from a half lemon (or less, depending on your taste)

Instructions
Tip butter in stock pot or whatever large pan will end up holding all the ingredients. So…a big pot. Melt the butter and add onion. Cook for a few minutes until soft then add the garlic, thyme and oregano. Cook a few minutes more

Roughly chop up chicken into bite sized pieces. Now add the bacon and chicken pieces to the pan and cook until the chicken doesn’t look raw. This will only take a few minutes.

Now add the uncooked orzo to the pot and stir well. Now add the chicken stock. This needs to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the orzo doesn’t stick to the pot.

Add the mushrooms and simmer for about another ten minutes. There will be a little thickening but not all of the liquid will be absorbed. You want that so it’s nice and juicy. If you are inclined to dip fresh bread in it’s amazing.

Just before you are ready to serve you stir in the spinach. It wilts quickly. Now stir in Parmesan cheese. Finally, add that tablespoon of cream cheese. Add salt, pepper, and lemon to taste.

This little bit of cream cheese makes this dish very creamy and thick.


* I wish I remembered where I got this recipe, maybe off Pinterest, but I know I made a lot of adjustments for our taste preferences. You could make it vegetarian by leave out th chicken. I am certainly adding those tomatoes next time.


I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.



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12 comments:

Vicki said...

That looks so good Tina! I'm pinning the recipe.

Tina said...

Thank you, Vicki! It was a good meal, so creamy.

Mae Travels said...

You hint that this is a flexible recipe that could be adapted to what's onhand. My favorite kind of recipe!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Debbie said...

I love a one pot meal AND we like mushrooms! I am going to try and participate in Souper Sundays....next week. LOL My summer was hectic, but fun. Ready to get back into the blogging world now.

Beth F said...

Oh that looks good. We love mushrooms, so I won't be swapping them out. I like that touch of cream cheese -- a bit of thicknes and richness. Yum.

The Passage books ... I started book 1 and abandoned it, but I need to try again. I love dystopian and so many people have loved the series.

Trish said...

Comfort in a bowl!!! I bet I could modify this just a touch so that everyone in our gang could be happy with it. Yum!

Katherine P said...

Yum! I'm pro orzo anything and this looks amazing. I'll let you have my share of the mushrooms but everything else sounds amazing. I love the idea of adding the cream cheese. That's one of my favorite ingredients.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This looks great, but I would use breasts. Thanks for posting the recipe!

Carole said...

Love the spinach in it! Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Deb in Hawaii said...

You have to love a one-pot meal for sure. This looks both simple and delicious. I am impressed you finished all three Cronin books. One of these days I am going to get to the second and third. ;-)

Tina said...

Ladies, once you try this meal with your taste preference adaptions you will fall in love. Thanks so much for your great comments!

As for the Passage trilogy, it certainly is a commitment but it tools years to read as Cronin took a while to put each book out. Good series though if you like apocalyptic lit.

My Cozy Book Nook said...

My children always preferred separate ingredients, so I avoided one-pot meals for years. However, now that we are empty-nesters, I relish the return to "casseroles" which leave me more time to focus on important matters - such as reading and writing.

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