I've said before one of my go to cookbooks is Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats. I do not like to watch Rachael on TV, but I do love her recipes. I love how she takes every day ingredients but switches them around to make new dishes, dishes that come together quickly.
This recipe is one I've made a few times. My husband rarely asks for certain dishes, he is just happy to have a wife who likes to cook, but this recipe he actually asks for by name. It's one of his favorites.
* 1/2 pound orzo pasta
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
* 12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
* 12 white mushrooms, sliced
* 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, a couple of sprigs, chopped
* 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
* 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, a couple turns of the pan
* 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful
Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add orzo pasta. Cook to al dente.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
Return the skillet to the heat, turn heat back a bit, and add the butter. Once the butter melts add the mushrooms and brown stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown season with salt and pepper then add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the parsley and the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute.
To serve, pile orzo on dinner plates and top with the sliced chicken and sauce.