Chicken and Orzo With Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette
A sun-dried tomato vinaigrette uses both the tomatoes and the aromatic oil in which they are stored for a deeply savory pasta meal. The vinaigrette serves double duty here as both a marinade for the tender chicken thigh morsels and a sauce for the orzo and feta. This dish tastes lovely warm, right off the heat, but it also makes for a wonderful cold lunch, like something you might find at an Italian American deli or salad bar.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 8sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, plus 6 tablespoons oil from the jar
- 2cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1pound orzo
- 1(4-ounce) block feta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Step 1In a food processor, blitz the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, the basil, vinegar, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Transfer half of this vinaigrette to a medium bowl, add the chicken and turn to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Step 2While the chicken marinates, transfer the rest of the vinaigrette to a large bowl. Add the diced tomato and toss.
Step 3Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the orzo and transfer it to the bowl with the tomato; toss to combine.
Step 4Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden on all sides and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken and all of its juices to the orzo. Add the feta and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt as desired. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, and enjoy cold for up to 4 days.