Cheesy Tomato Chicken with Orzo & Kale

Cheesy Tomato Chicken

with Orzo & Kale

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 matched by a layer of melty mozzarella. It’s the ideal topping for a simple base of tender orzo pasta and sautéed kale tossed with crème fraîche.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      810 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Cheesy Tomato Chicken with Orzo & Kale
    Title
    • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
    • 4 oz Orzo Pasta
    • 1 bunch Kale
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 4 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
    • 1 tsp Whole Dried Oregano
    • 1 Tbsp Capers
    • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
    • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • ½ oz Sweet Piquante Peppers
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    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 kale; separate the leaves from the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. 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 2 teaspoons 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 the seasoned chicken 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.* Remove from the oven. 

    *An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

    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, 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

    Finish & serve your dish
    5 Finish & serve your dish

    Meanwhile, rinse and wipe out the pan used to make the sauce. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the remaining chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat. To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked kale, chopped peppers, crème fraîche, and 2 teaspoons 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

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    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 kale; separate the leaves from the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. 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 2 teaspoons 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 the seasoned chicken 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.* Remove from the oven. 

    *An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

    4 Cook the pasta

    Once the chicken has cooked about 10 minutes, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

    Cook the pasta
    Finish & serve your dish
    5 Finish & serve your dish

    Meanwhile, rinse and wipe out the pan used to make the sauce. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the remaining chopped garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat. To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked kale, chopped peppers, crème fraîche, and 2 teaspoons 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!

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