another week, another 'QFF' recipe. at this point in the year, summer is looking at us with those "come hither" eyes and i'm falling prey to its airs of seduction. enter, this spicy-ish chicken and orzo salad into the picture. I imagine you, cozy in the kitchen on a lazy Sunday, wanting an easy lunch (or brunch in the best case scenario 💁🏼♀️) and whipping up this "quick fake fancy" dish. A heavy duty salad is never not a GO! the only rule is that there are no rules, I know, majorly cliche but, its true you can do no wrong with a dinner salad - I call it that in name only, not that it's predicated to any certain time of day - the 'dinner' part suggests that they're large enough to get you 'dinner' full. 🥴 I hope that all made sense - the elegance of the flavors in conjunction with how swooningly colorful and vibrant this salad is, is what gives it its stamp and 'fake fancy' status. it's easy in it's execution but gorgeous and opulent in it's pure existence so much so, that it's decidedly on my fake fancy list.
she's packed with everything but the kitchen sink! & rightfully so, we deserve something filling, yummy and healthy to boot. the playful colors and textures of this dish is what excites me most about making it and I hope you get the same jittery giggles that I do! 🤣 as always, I try to give you dishes that are flexible and will work well with substitutions or swap outs. If you can scratch at least one thing off of your grocery list this is what we are staning for! so in this case use this recipe as a soft guide and do the best you can with what you got! (Mariah Carey sed dat!) white or yellow onions instead of red, green bell pepper instead of yellow or green olives instead of black don't sweat none of it, use what you have on hand and spend less in the supermarket. its summer-ish, it's a salad so let's have some f*ckn fun!
spicy-ish chicken and orzo salad.
(serves 4-6 - or maybe you want it all to yourself)
chicken breast - 1lb. boneless skinless
lime - 2TB juice
soy sauce - 1TB
ponzu sauce - 1TB
yellow pepper - 1 (diced)
black olives - 1/2C (halved)
cucumber - 1/2 large (diced)
tomatoes - 1C grape or cherry (halved)
red onion - 1/2C (small dice)
mint - 2TB (thinly sliced - for garnish)
orzo - 1 1/2C (cooked then cooled)
things! I assume you have on hand
garlic cloves - 6 (minced)
evoo - 1TB
brown sugar - 1TB
ground cumin - 2tsp
oregano - 1tsp
paprika - 2tsp
cayenne pepper - 1/2tsp
lime/lemon juice (1)
minced garlic (2)
parmesan cheese (2TB)
salt (to taste)
🌀in a large bowl add garlic, oil, lime juice, soy, sauce, ponzu, brown sugar, cumin, oregano, paprika, cayenne and mix until well combined.
🌀add chicken breast to marinade and let sit in the fridge for at least 30min.
🌀in the meantime cook orzo, cut veg and make dressing. for dressing add all ingredients to a blender or bullet and blend until fully incorporated. chill in the fridge and set everything else aside until salad assembly.
🌀take chicken out of fridge and shake off excess marinade before searing (or grilling) in an oiled pan over medium high heat. brown on both sides, 6 - 8minutes or until cooked thru. Let rest for 10min.
🌀cut chicken into 1/2-1in cubes and begin assembling salad.
🌀add 1 1/2C cooked and cooled orzo to a serving bowl followed by all of the diced and sliced veg then chicken cubes. toss until mixed well, add 1/2 dressing and toss again until dressing is fused throughout then add the rest of the dressing over top w/ a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with mint & if necessary (which it shouldn't be, but just in case) add S&P to taste. serve & enjoy!
feast & have fun!
- check out the reel for this recipe on IG, if you're like me and always need a visual!
-share your experiences making this dish or suggestions in the comments!