According to Carmen: A healthy twist on Arroz Con Pollo

I looooooove rice but it is not loving me back. I am finding myself older and my metabolism slower. Having said that I may be on a diet but my family is not. I have a growing boy and girl still at home that needs all the food groups. Including the carbs.

Here is a healthy twist on a family favorite.

For the Roasted Chicken:

You can use any part of the chicken you’d like. I prefer dark meat so I will be referencing to chicken thighs. I am sure everyone has their “go-to” ways of seasoning their chicken. I am always up for suggestions but so far this is the best way I have found for every bite of my chicken to be flavorful.

I use Italian dressing to marinade my chicken and season with Adobo, Salt, Pepper, Onion powder, Smoked Paprika, and Oregano.  I allow to marinade for about an hour and then place skin side up in a roasting pan. 375 for 40-45 minutes.

Ingredients:

For the Orzo and Veggies:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Mushrooms de-stemmed and sliced (I like Cremini, you can opt for your favorite here)
  • 1 Cup of Red Bell Peppers, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 Cup of Cauliflower cut to bite size
  • 1 Cup of Brussel sprouts quartered
  • 12 oz Cherry Tomatoes cut into 1/2
  • 1 Medium Red or Yellow Onion – chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 lb of Kale
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Cup Orzo
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Chicken or Vegetable Broth

For the Dressing:

  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

Roast the Veggies:

  1. Turn oven up to 425F. Toss all veggies in a bowl with olive 2 tablespoons of olive oil salt and pepper. Place all veggies (minus kale) in a pan, spread the veggies, do not overcrowd so if you need to use another pan go for it. Roast in the 425F oven for 35-45 minutes (not all ovens are created equal so be sure to check in at the 25-minute mark. If your veggies are charring a bit even better!) Rotate pans 1/2 way through roasting.
  2. After you clean your Kale put a little olive oil in a hot pan and place your kale in there (medium-high heat). Season your Kale with salt and pepper add stock and toss. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook while continuously stirring until all liquid is evaporated.

Cook the Orzo:

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 Tbs of Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the orzo, coating the orzo thoroughly with the olive oil. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the orzo is toasty and golden. Add the broth. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Whisk until all the ingredients are emulsified.

Put it all Together:

  1. In the large sauté pan, to the orzo, add the veggies, the kale and all their juices, fold in the dressing and nestle the chicken in the pan. Serve immediately.

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Carmen Londoño is a self-proclaimed foodie that enjoys to travel and re-create dishes that piques her palette. She is a published writer and is currently working on her second book. Her first publication was a love letter to her daughters in the form of unsolicited advice and favorite family recipes. 

 
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Insurance People, Carmen sits on the executive board of WeWill (Women Empowering Women In Local Legislation) a nonprofit organization that helps support women and children. 

 

A proud Puerto Rican/Honduran woman that was born and raised in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago, she currently resides in Skokie with her family. 
 
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