Whilst in the midst of my month long break I: worked an average of 43 hours a week; Traveled to the “heart” of Texas (Waco) for a seminar and certification test (passed it – Woot!); entertained my Dad for a week long visit; and oh yeah, moved into a new house!  After many years of traveling and renting many beautiful homes, my husband and I finally bought our own home.  we are putting down roots in the South where my heart thrives.  We are now amongst the young and the rent-less and fervently caught up in our freedom to destroy, remodel, and customize as we please.  It’s the high part of the homeownership roller coaster and right now we are enjoying the thrill of it.

Chicken Fricassee with Parmesan Orzo | Green Peas with Pancetta

Though our kitchen isn’t in full working mojo – I couldn’t help but prepare a meal last week and entertain a close friend in our new home.  This meal is easy, low-key, but full on flavor.  It’s sure to please your family both the night of or with leftovers that taste twice as nice the second time around. Plus this version is from my Cooking Light CTB Project so it was lean and healthy too!  I paired it with another recipe in the book which complimented both flavors and ingredients.

Chicken Fricassee with Parmesan Orzo


  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 3 cups hot cooked orzo (about 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Parsley sprigs (optional)
  • *1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS: Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Add onions, carrot, ham, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in broth and wine, scraping to loosen browned bits. Return chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon; keep warm.

Add whipping cream; cook, uncovered, over medium heat 8 minutes. Toss cooked orzo with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 2-3 Tablespoons minced parsley;  spoon 3/4 cup orzo onto each of 4 plates. Top each with 1 chicken breast, 1/3 cup sauce, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Green Peas with Pancetta


  • 3 slices pancetta, chopped (about 1 ounce)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups shelled green peas or frozen petite green peas
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, and sauté 5 minutes or until crispy. Remove pancetta from pan, reserving drippings in pan.

Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender. Add peas, broth, sugar, and salt to pan. Simmer 5 minutes or until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in pancetta and chopped parsley. Serve warm!
From: Cooking Light – The New Way to Cook Light 

~I’m sure adaptations of this meal will continue to pass my table for years to come.  Normally I make this dish with bacon, but ham was tasty and something new & different!  It is such a easy and delicious dish that is perfect for weeknight gatherings or when you simply don’t have time to fuss with much.  I chopped up the leftovers and it made an amazing pasta salad perfect for lunch or dinner the next day or to serve your wee ones!

Leftover Chicken Fricassee with Orzo



One Comment on “Chicken Fricassee with Orzo | Green Peas with Pancetta

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