chicken, chorizo and tomato orzo, with a tomato and red wine sauce

This is the perfect Monday recipe. Why? Because it’s a great way to use up leftover roast chicken from your Sunday dinner. Shredded roast chicken works so well with this dish, as the smaller pieces work really well with the petite, almost rice-like orzo pasta. You can of course use chunks of chicken breast or thigh, but shredded chicken from the bone is a clear winner for me.

Orzo pasta is a new love of mine. As a dedicated risotto-maker and -eater, I’ve been looking for an alternative that satisfies those cravings without eating risotto all the time! I love pearl barley too, but orzo is fantastic. It’s filling and tasty, and can contribute towards a tasty yet nutritious dinner for those of us who aren’t scared of carbs!

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ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 x brown onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp smoked garlic, minced (substitute with one normal garlic clove if required)

120g chorizo, roughly chopped

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

100ml good quality red wine

600g leftover shredded roast chicken

250g cherry tomatoes

250g orzo pasta

1 x tin of chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper, to season

to finish – grated low fat cheddar

serves 4

method

  1. add the orzo to a saucepan with a dash of salt. cover with boiling water, and cook over a medium-high heat until pasta is cooked through with no chalkiness. drain, and set aside.
  2. in a wide-set saucepan, heat the oil of a medium heat. add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened and golden. next, add the chorizo – you’ll notice the oil changing colour and soaking in the smokey flavour. once the chorizo has been cooking for approx. 2-3 minutes, stir in the tomato puree and herbs until it colours the onion mix.
  3. pour in the wine – it should sizzle as it hits the pan. leave the wine to reduce, with the pan uncovered. it shouldn’t take long – and the onions and chorizo will start taking on the flavour.
  4. add the chicken, cherry tomatoes, orzo and tinned chopped tomatoes and stir. reduce heat slightly and leave the sauce to thicken slightly – you want it to coat the pasta well. season to taste.
  5. once the sauce is at a consistency you’re happy with and takes on the chorizo and herby flavours (i only leave it for 5-10 minutes), remove from the heat.
  6. serve topped with a little grated cheese. some fresh basil would also work well!
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