Can’t make it to Tuscany?  Make this instead!

Can’t make it to Tuscany? Make this instead!

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It’s called Tuscan Chicken Bake and I’m telling you, one bite will make you feel like you’re at an expensive restaurant in Tuscany. Sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, parmesan cheese, garlic, and orzo pasta all come together in this tasty bake-in-the-oven dish. I seared my chicken breasts before I added them to the oven but you don’t have to, it just gives the chicken a more browned look when everything is finished.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Orzo (rice-shaped) pasta
  • 2 cups of baby spinach (packed)
  • small jar of sun-dried tomatoes with the oil
  • one small diced onion (or shallots or red onion)
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Zesty Italian dressing
  • garlic parmesan seasoning mix by McCormack (or you can use fresh grated parmesan and garlic powder)
  • grated parmesan for the top of the chicken
  • lemon & basil (if you prefer – I didn’t use any when I made it.
Just before it went in the oven. Note that the chicken breasts are just partially cooked.

Score the chicken breasts, without cutting all the way through. Brown them in frying pan next, if you prefer your chicken to look browned later. I just fried mine in olive oil for a few minutes on either side. I also added Montreal Chicken seasoning to both sides of my chicken before frying.

In the casserole dish you will pour the entire contents of orzo pasta in the bottom. Then add the 2 cups of packed baby spinach. Next you will add the sun-dried tomatoes, with oil. I just used the amount that I wanted. Then add the diced onion and three cloves of garlic, along with two cups of chicken stock and one cup of heavy cream. Mix that all around so that the orzo gets coated and wet. Then place your chicken breasts on top of the mixture and pour some Zesty Italian dressing on top, just to coat them. Sprinkle some garlic parmesan seasoning mix on top of the chicken. Seal the casserole dish with tinfoil and place in oven at 400 for one hour. When the hour is up, remove foil, sprinkle on some fresh parmesan cheese on top of the chicken breasts and return casserole to the oven for another ten minutes. I served this with fresh green beans on the side. * You can squeeze half a lemon on top of the chicken when it comes out of the oven and add pieces of fresh basil but I left that out and it was still so delicious.

Buon Appetito!

Ciao for now 🙂

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