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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Recipe Review:
Chicken with Balsamic BBQ & Tri Colore Orzo


My mother-in-law is an incredible cook. She is responsible for my husband's culinary ability, and for that I am eternally grateful to her. That means that visiting my husband's parents in Wilmington, NC always means a ton of delicious food. One night she decided to do a meal based on the recipes of Giada De Laurentiis from Everyday Italian. She selected a delightful, sophisticated take on BBQ chicken that is sure to please anyone who loves Balasmic Vinegar as much as I do. For a side we had orzo with basil, arugula, feta, and dried cherries. Read on for my reviews and links to these recipes.


Tri Colore Orzo

I have to say I am predisposed to like an orzo dish, as I find these little rice-like pastas delightful. This is a more sophisticated side dish that would be ideal for a gourmet picnic or summer gathering in place of tired old pasta or potato salads. We made the dish with crumbled feta (Giada lists ricotta or feta). I particularly loved the combination of arugula and basil in this dish, but found myself wishing there were more cherries, as they really make the dish distinct and picked up on the balsamic in the chicken dish. I would recommend being sure you get dried sour cherries, which pack more punch, and perhaps vary the amount you use to your taste. Also, the recipe asks you to use slightly more than a quarter cup of olive oil. If you are watching your waistline, I would recommend yu cut the olive oil way back. The verdict? this was a very good orzo salad with a subtle set of flavors that pairs well with a stronger main course. I will make this again, although it won't necessarily be something I make every week. There are just too many good orzo recipes out there.

Chicken with Balsamic BBQ

I can't get enough of the tangy sweetness of balsamic vinegar. I've yet to find a food that I didn't like with a little balsamic. So perhaps it is no surprise that I was really impressed with this upscale version of BBQ sauce that highlights the taste of balsamic vinegar. The combination of spices and sauces that go into this recipe are likely to be something most cooks have on hand, which makes this a great summer recipe for slightly more impressive BBQ fare without a ton of fuss. At the end of the meal I could be found, in a very undignified manner, mopping up the extra sauce with my bread. The verdict? I loved the slightly upscale take on BBQ sauce and will look forward to serving this in my home regularly. As I was eating it I found myself day dreaming of the Balsamic BBQ chicken topped with a few oven baked sweet potato fries. If you want to pair this with some vegetables to get a healthy daily dose, my mother-in-law Denyse recommends roasted red peppers and onions, zucchini, maybe even eggplant.

Why don't you reproduce the recipes here?

As an academic by training I have a deep respect for intellectual property. The recipes you find on this site are my own original recipes. As a result, I understand well just how much work goes into making a great recipe. I will from time to time review someone else's recipe on this site and offer a link to the original source. I will only consider reproducing a recipe on this site where I can get permission from the recipe's owner, or where the original recipe is no longer available (as far as I can tell) in print or online.

1 comment:

Stockton said...

Nice to see Orzo getting a mention - its a much-neglected pasta variety! we love it, and pop it in soups and things, too! Nice blog!

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