For the Chicken: In a large skillet, toss together the olive oil, chicken, oregano, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is browned all over and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and garlic, cook another minute. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
For the Orzo: Bring a stockpot to boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Cook according to package, and then drain. Put cooked orzo back in pot, add the butter and stir until melted. Then add the lemon juice and dill.
For the Whipped Feta: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The feta can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For the Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette: In a mason jar add the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, dill, and season with salt and pepper, and shake to combine.
Assemble: On the plate or large bowl add a smear of whipped feta, then add orzo to overlap the feta, top the orzo and feta with the chicken, then add the salad. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.
This dish is the complete package of comfort food. The recipe below is doubled to be served as a main dish. If you want this as a side, halve the recipe below.
Adapted from Salt & Lavender
2 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP butter
1 medium onion chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 c. uncooked orzo pasta
4 c. chicken broth
4 TBSP lemon juice
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
6-10 oz. fresh baby spinach
Salt & pepper to taste
Add the oil, butter, and onion to a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and orzo. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often (this infuses the orzo with more flavor and toasts it a little).
Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, and cream. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring fairly often. You will probably need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). It should gently bubble vs. furiously boil, and you don’t want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked.
Stir in the chicken.
Take the pot off the heat, stir in the parmesan and spinach, and cover the pot for 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened up to your liking. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.
Warm tortillas and toppings: crema, avocado, feta, cilantro, pickled onion
Chipotle Peach Salsa:
1/2 c. salsa verde
1/4 c. (or less to taste) chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
1/2 c. chopped ripe peaches
In the bowl of the Instant pot, combine chicken through beer. Cover and cook on manual for 10 minutes; then quick release.
Preheat broiler. Remove meat from the Instant pot and shred. Add meat to a baking sheet and then add 1/4 c. of the cooking liquid and lime juice. Drizzle hone. Broil for 2-5 minutes, until crispy. Add more cooking liquid if necessary. Watch closely.
For the salsa: combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until combined. Season with salt.
To serve: add carnitas to tortilla and top with salsa and desired toppings.
Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas with Chipotle Peach Salsa:
So flavorful and comes together in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.
1 lb. spiral pasta or other short cut pasta
4 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. chicken, cut in bite size pieces
1 TBSP plus 1-2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
3-4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 TBSP basil, chopped
Cook pasta al dente according to the package, and then drain.
Meanwhile, heat skillet to medium high and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, onion, chicken, and 1 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes, and then remove chicken from pan onto a plate.
To the skillet, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, the bell peppers, and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes, until peppers are soft. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook another minute, then add broth and milk. Then add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in parmesan, then add the pasta and cooked chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and meat, and sauté until the meat is browned.
Meanwhile, in a food processor add the carrots and zucchini and pulse until thick puree.
Drain the meat. While meat is draining, in the same skillet used to brown the meat, add the pureed vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the ketchup through brown sugar and toss to combine. Add the meat back to skillet and toss to combine.
If eating straight from skillet, add 1/4 c. water (or desired amount), taste and adjust seasoning.
If adding to crockpot, add the mixture to the crockpot (don’t add the water), cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
2 14 oz. cans of cream of chicken or celery soup (or 1 of each)
32 oz. chicken broth (plus more if you want more of a soup)
Better than bullion, to taste (if using low or now sodium broth use about 1 TBSP)
1 tsp. Thyme leaves
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 TBSP butter, sliced (optional)
1 24 oz. package of frozen Reames egg noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place chicken in the crockpot and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream soups, broth, bullion, and thyme leaves; then pour the soup mixture over the chicken.
Add the celery and carrots, and then add the sliced butter.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. After 6 hours, remove chicken and shred/chop and add back to the crockpot. Add the frozen egg noodles, cover and cook for an additional 2 hours. You may stir a few times during the 2 hours, and add more broth at this time if you want more of a soup.
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
Serve with: sliced avocado, lime wedges, cheese, chopped chipotles in adobo, sour cream, and tortilla chips
Set the instant pot to sauté. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, poblano peppers, paprika, cumin, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes, until very fragrant. Turn the instant pot off. Add the chicken, then stir in the tomatoes and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
Once done cooking, use the quick release and release the steam. Shred the chicken using two forks. Stir in the lime juice, and cilantro.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top, as desired, with sliced avocado, lime wedges, cheese, chopped chipotles in adobo, sour cream, and tortilla chips.