Friday, October 3, 2008

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

This recipe from Giada's Everyday Pasta has been on my list of recipes to try for a very long time. For some reason I just now got around to making it and I'm glad I did. Even though the chicken wasn't breaded, the first thing I thought when I tasted this dish was chicken Parmesan deconstructed! This dish was extremely easy to make and my husband liked it so much, he requested it be in our "regular rotation!" I read some reviews that suggested this dish was a bit bland so I kept that in mind while making it and made a few changes. I also changed up a few of the ingredients based on what I had on hand. My changes are noted below.

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
Source: Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentis

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta) (I used orzo)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion) (omitted)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (I used canned stewed tomatoes)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used dried and also mixed in dried oregano and basil)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used shaved Parmesan)
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.


Colleen said...

Would you be surprised to find out that I have made this before? lol - I like the idea of orzo, too! I will have to make this again soon.

Linds said...

oh yum, this looks delicious- the perfect comfort food for Fall!