Baked Orange Tarragon Chicken and Warm Orzo Salad with Carrots, Fennel and Asiago

Baked Orange Tarragon Chicken and Warm Orzo Salad with Carrots, Fennel and Asiago

This chicken is a perfect example of how you can get a simple and delicious dinner on the table any night of the week. It is one of those recipes that you just cannot believe how quick and easy it is to prepare, and then how great it tastes when it comes out of the oven. It’s one of our family favorites-you will not be disappointed!                                                                

Makes 4 Servings

8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a single layer in a shallow casserole dish. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until well blended. Pour over the chicken thighs and let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.


Warm Orzo Salad with Carrots, Fennel and Asiago

Makes 6-8 servings

1 1/2 cups orzo
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Locatelli Romano cheese
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese (3 ounces)

Note: To toast the pine nuts, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

Heat the oil with the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and fennel, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes, adding the onion and garlic, and salt and pepper to taste halfway through. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, 7 minutes. Drain and add to the Dutch oven with the pine nuts, parsley and additional salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring together all of the ingredients. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large serving bowl, and stir in the Romano cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with the Asiago cheese.