Mozzarella Chicken Orzo w/Sun-dried Tomatoes
Yield: 4 servings
8 ounces orzo (whole-wheat)
1 cup water
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped & divided (not oil-packed)
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1-1 1/4 pounds)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
½ cup finely shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
2. Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tend with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out ½ cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.
5. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.
Per serving: 452 calories; 12 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugar; 36 g protein; 10 g fiber; 486 mg sodium; 785 mg potassium