I think I've found my culinary calling, and its name is the casserole. Something about the cooler (relatively speaking) fall weather makes it so enticing. This casserole comes from the current issue of Everyday Food, publication of the matriarch Ms. Stewart, and constant source of easy and delicious recipes. Case in point: a smooth, creamy casserole without any cream, featuring a medley of Greek flavors.
You may think you don't like feta cheese, but if you buy the fresh stuff in a block from your grocery store and make this casserole, you will grow to appreciate just what it can do. It marries with dill and lemon so well, it's like they were born to be together forever. They envelop tender, delicate little orzo pasta pieces and the whole thing just melts in your mouth. Delicious.
You know a recipe is great when you're already looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Chicken Orzo Casserole
adapted from Everyday Food
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup orzo
2 oz. feta, roughly chopped (or crumbled)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Preheat oven to 400. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the broth, 1/4 cup water, butter, salt and pepper to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, combine chicken, orzo, feta, dill, lemon zest and juice in a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Pour the hot broth mixture over it and stir once, gently, to incorporate.
3. Bake until bubbling and starting to brown, and the cooking liquid is creamy, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes prior to serving.