Herbed Parmesan Orzo with Garlic Baked Chicken

Last Updated on April 5, 2016 by smartkitchenpicks

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We all have that go-to recipe that we whip up in a time crunch, and I’m no exception. I’m a college student, so oftentimes I find myself coming home from a late night section around 7-8 o’clock at night with a raging appetite and no food to be seen. Times like that call for easy recipes that I can have done within 30 minutes and will fill me up on a college student’s budget. Times like that call for Herbed Parmesan Orzo with Garlic Baked Chicken! It’s and delicious recipe that won’t break the bank and will make plenty of leftovers to enjoy on your next busy day!

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This recipe is partly inspired by my childhood. Growing up, I played on a club soccer team for about 5 years. We would have late night practices and my mom would come pick me and my other carpooling teammates up and we would drive down a narrow and twisted road to get back to our houses. By that time, the combination of running around for several hours and it being late at night would get me to ask the infamous question to my mom: “What’s for dinner?!” With me getting more and more hangry (the angriness and grumpiness that come with being hungry) by the second, she would throw some garlic chicken wings into the oven and start the rice cooker and dinner would be ready in no time at all. Roasted garlic chicken wings are one of my many comfort foods and the fact that they only involve two ingredients seals the deal for me!

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The second part of the recipe, the orzo, is a more recent food discovery for me. Orzo is a type of pasta that’s cut into small shapes and resembles large grains of rice. I’ve always been more keen on rice rather than pasta (growing up in an asian household will do that to ya), so having a texture and shape that resembles rice let’s me fully appreciate the dish more. I added a combination of different herbs (basil, parsley, and oregano) to give the dish extra flavor and topped the whole thing with a generous sprinkling of parmesan to round out everything and give it some delicious cheesiness.

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I’m a garlic fiend. There, I admit it! Garlic has a special place in my heart and any savory recipe seems lacking if it doesn’t have it’s wonderful flavor! If you haven’t ever tried garlic salt, you’re in for a big surprise. It’s my absolute favorite way of bringing in that extra special “ooomph” that makes the recipe a winner! A little garlic salt goes a long way and you can find it in any grocery store in the dried herb and salt/pepper aisle. Not only does it bring in that garlic punch without having to deal with peeling and dicing up fresh cloves, but it helps make the dish a little healthier by adding flavor that’s not based around sodium.

Can you tell I love the stuff?

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If you cook up the orzo while the chicken is baking, your dinner will be done in under 30 minutes! That’s a recipe for success, if  you ask me!

Recipe

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