Orzo with Chicken, Red Pepper, and Shiitakes

Yummy and easy. I of course dumped a bunch of cayenne pepper on mine, so feel free to spice things up. Ms. Jackson if ya nasty!

5  tablespoons  olive oil
1 1/3  pounds  boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 in all)
Salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
1  red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4  pound  shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  pound  orzo
1/4  pound  mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet
1/3  cup  heavy cream
1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Put the chicken in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer. Remove. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut the breasts crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Put in the bell pepper, shiitakes, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water; drain the orzo.
  4. In the frying pan, combine the reserved pasta water with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the goat cheese, cream, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring almost to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the orzo, chicken, and 3 tablespoons of the parsley and stir to combine. Serve topped with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

From MyRecipes.com.

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Filed under Comfort food, Italian food, Main Course, Pasta

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