Cheesy Tomato Chicken with Orzo & Broccoli
Family Friendly

Cheesy Tomato Chicken

with Orzo & Broccoli

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Classic Italian ingredients like oregano, capers, crushed red pepper, and more come together to make the bright, zesty sauce that coats our baked chicken—perfectly smothered by a layer of melty mozzarella. It’s the ideal topping for a simple base of tender orzo pasta and broccoli tossed with crème fraîche.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    690 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Cheesy Tomato Chicken with Orzo & Broccoli
Title
  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 4 oz Orzo Pasta
  • 4 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Whole Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
  • ½ oz Pickled Peppadew Peppers
  • ½ lb Broccoli
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the broccoli. Cut off and discard the bottom 1/2 inch of the stem; cut the broccoli into small florets. Roughly chop the capers. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Thinly slice the cheese. Roughly chop the peppers.

Make the sauce
2 Make the sauce

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped capers, oregano, and half the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste, 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until combined and slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Bake the chicken
3 Bake the chicken

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in a small baking dish. Evenly top with the sauce and sliced cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.* If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully, so it doesn't burn). Remove from the oven.

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 165°F for chicken.

Cook the pasta
4 Cook the pasta

Once the chicken has cooked about 10 minutes, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the broccoli
5 Cook the broccoli

Meanwhile, rinse and wipe out the pan used to make the sauce. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the broccoli florets in an even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining chopped garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until combined and slightly softened. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Loosely cover the pan with foil and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off and the broccoli is tender. Turn off the heat.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked broccoli, chopped peppers, crème fraîche, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the baked chicken (including any sauce from the baking dish). Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the broccoli. Cut off and discard the bottom 1/2 inch of the stem; cut the broccoli into small florets. Roughly chop the capers. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Thinly slice the cheese. Roughly chop the peppers.

2 Make the sauce

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped capers, oregano, and half the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste, 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until combined and slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Make the sauce
Bake the chicken
3 Bake the chicken

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in a small baking dish. Evenly top with the sauce and sliced cheese; season with salt and pepper. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.* If desired, turn your oven to the broil function; broil 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown (watching carefully, so it doesn't burn). Remove from the oven.

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 165°F for chicken.

4 Cook the pasta

Once the chicken has cooked about 10 minutes, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the pasta
Cook the broccoli
5 Cook the broccoli

Meanwhile, rinse and wipe out the pan used to make the sauce. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the broccoli florets in an even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining chopped garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until combined and slightly softened. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Loosely cover the pan with foil and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off and the broccoli is tender. Turn off the heat.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked broccoli, chopped peppers, crème fraîche, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the baked chicken (including any sauce from the baking dish). Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
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