12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped plum tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (15-ounce) can organic white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set bacon aside.
Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomato, oregano, and pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return bacon and chicken to pan. Stir in 2 cups water and broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Add orzo, and cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until heated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, vinegar, and salt.
This had several layers of flavor, starting with the smoked bacon and dark meat chicken. Some of my best recipes are from Cooking Light! It does take a bit of time to make due to several steps but worth it. I may use rotisserie chicken as another reviewer mentioned.
I used a thighs and legs from a cooked rotisserie chicken from the market, a can of cannellini beans, and canned tomatoes for a quick and hearty winter soup. Meets a low-cal target as well. Very tasty and easy.
I love this recipe as it includes a lot of flavorful ingredients. The pasta does soak up the broth but I just add extra broth and a little extra water to help this. I also like mine with a little more vinegar than this calls for and use pancetta instead of bacon. It's a great, hearty meal especially in winter.
In response to some of the commentaries:
- Flavor: make sure you added sufficient amounts of black pepper (for "oomph")
- The use of left-over soup: Here is how I deal with the aspect of the orzo (or "risoni", if one is using Barilla pasta) soaking up too much liquid when left sitting overnight (and the vinegar evaporating in the re-heating process): In anticipation of the fact that there will be left-over soup I split the serving into two batches: the one for immediate use will have the risoni, beans, and vinegar worked into it; next day, I'd add a sufficient amount of water to the second batch of soup, bring it to a boil and add the risoni/orzo; 8 minutes later (you'll use those to set the table, bring out the bread and prepare the salad), add beans and vinegar - the soup will be comparable to the one served the night before, because the basic flavor (onion, garlic, herbs, bacon, chicken) is preserved, anyways, and the soup won't have a texture that is too thick.
This is one of our favorites in my house! Instead of bacon we use prosciutto and instead of fresh tomatoes we add petite diced in basil and oregano. It helps to add a little more liquid than called for. Use rotisserie chicken breast in a time crunch and it's excellent. We even leave the chicken out sometimes and it's still good. Wonderful. Especially with a sourdough bread for dipping.
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