Chicken and Pea Orzo (Risoni)

Chicken and Pea Orzo

I am a huge fan of risotto but it can take quite a bit of effort to make, all that stirring and making sure things don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Sometimes that stirring is soothing and relaxing but for busy days I am always on the lookout for new ideas to beat the risotto workload but still get a great risotto taste.  One of my favourite risottos is this chicken and leek baked risotto. A friend of mine made it and he said it didn’t taste enough like a risotto to him. I think he felt the rice wasn’t separated enough for a risotto, it was more a rice casserole.  I am not as fussy and to me it is just an amazing dinner that doesn’t require too much work but it may not meet your classic risotto desires.

A little while ago I made this veal paprikash with orzo and what struck me about the orzo (risoni) was that it had an almost risotto quality to it. Then on one of my food trawling expeditions I do on the internet I saw orzo being used as an alternative to rice in a risotto style recipe.  Little cogs started to whir in my brain as the orzo had been quicker to cook than rice normally takes in a risotto.  And I while I still had to stir, the orzo hadn’t felt like it was sticking quite as much as rice does and if I wandered away for a minute or two it wasn’t going to be quite the disaster that it can be with rice (but you still need to keep a close eye on it). [Read More…]

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