Lemon Chicken With Orzo

What does bistro mean?

Because in a coffee-induced hyper episode on Saturday, I deemed this week as BLOG BISTRO WEEK. And then realized I have no idea what that means. And that I was talking to air. But I do know that it’s one of those words that when you say more than thrice, it sounds jank. Bistro, bistro, bistro.


I wiki’d and Google imaged it, but of course didn’t get anywhere because just looking at all those pictures of quaint bistros made me a little depressed that I’ve never been to Paris or London or anywhere that stripes actually look good on people. So I had to watch Amelie. Which led to me absolutely needing to practice my French and stick my fingers in dried beans. And then I realized the expiration dates on these bags of dried beans were before the crucifixion. So of course that led to a massive pantry overhaul. And finding my old fishbowl from college (RIP Mandarin), 47 nearly empty bottles of olive oil and an EARRING.


Oh weird. It looks like my words are FLOATING IN SPACE right here. See it? Did you see that?


Anyway, BEESTRO. Will you please tell me what it means because I’m exhausted and emotional after all that pantry/fishbowl business.

But I’m sticking with BLOG BISTRO WEEK. I think.

Because I feel like this DU-LICIOUS chicken dish is totally bistro-y. Lemons, olives, cheesy orzo, tender chicken…I am this close to passing out.

I don’t even care anymore. It just needs to appear in my mouth again before ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.

Bistro life is dangerous, you guys.

 What it took for 2:

(adapted from Cooking Light)

* 1 Tbs. lemon zest
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves, cut in half
* 2 tsp fresh oregano
* 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
* 1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
* 1 shallot, sliced
* 4 lemon slices
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* cooking spray
* 1 cup orzo
* 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
* 1/2 tsp garlic salt
* 6 basil leaves, torn

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine the lemon zest, juice, oil, garlic and chicken in a small baggy. Seal and swish all around, coating the chicken. Marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray, and arrange the chicken (and marinade!) in the dish. Sprinkle the herbs over the chicken, along with the shallots, olives and lemon slices. Season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken for 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven, switch the oven to broil, and put the chicken back in for 3 minutes, until the lemon slices start to brown the chicken cooks through.

In the meantime, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and add the remaining oil, cheese, garlic salt and basil.

Serve chicken over a bed of orzo and disappear into your plate.

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34 Responses to Lemon Chicken With Orzo

  1. Brooke Mackie-Ketcham February 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm #
    amusing how things led you to watch Amelie! One of the best movies! Question: what do you DO with all your left-over fresh herbs? Dry? Freeze? Let rot and turn squishy black in the door of your fridge ( my method ).
    • Bev Weidner February 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm #
      I dry them! Some in the dehydrator and others just hung upside down and natural. And then I crinkle them up and store in little jars! And THANK YOU for the bistro explanation. That was thorough. :)
  2. Brooke Mackie-Ketcham February 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm #
    In Russian, "Beestra" ( in pronounciation ) means "hurry! quickly!" and it is supposed to have originated in the Napoleonic invasion of Russia when French troops were saying, "let's hurry to burn down Moscow before winter kills us all off" ( I'm making this up ) OR, the Russians were saying it, "come on fellow Russians, hurry up and let's drive these Frenchies back out of our country." TRUTHFULLY, the story goes that French troops were yelling, "hurry up!" to the Russians who had been conscripted to feed them. I will tell you, nothing i Russia's restaurant service has changed in 200 years: Russian restaurants and cafes are STILL frightfully slow. Anyway, Russia's official diplomatic language was FRENCH. No one in Europe spoke Russian in the old days so the diplomacy was conducted in French. Thus, Bistro and Bistra ( French and Russian words ) share origins and meanings. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1005121303638
  3. Kathryn February 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm #
    You should come to London and cook this for me and we can wear stripes.
  4. Cookbook Queen February 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm #
    Mmmm...I don't know what a bistro is either, but I'm assuming it includes a mustache. And this chicken.
  5. Cookin' Cowgirl February 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm #
    Coffee-induced.....that is me just about 24-7. Well, at any rate, I think every week should be bistro week (and dessert week). Your pictures are beautiful!!
  6. Cassie February 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm #
    Love this combination. Sounds delicious and looks gorgeous!
  7. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #
    Those sliced lemons look so delicate, so perfect, so light and fragrant and I bet your house smelled amazing while this was baking!
  8. Deanna B. February 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm #
    I want to get in on bistro week! I've been looking for an excuse (not that I really need one) to make a croque monsieur.
  9. Katie February 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm #
    Wow, that previous comment was like a history lesson. I like it. And I realllly like orzo. And you.
  10. Paula February 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm #
    Yummy! May just have to make this for dinner!
  11. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids February 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm #
    Oh, Bev. This looks delicious! How do you do it - write an amazingly funny post, take gorgeous pictures, AND make perfect food?
  12. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum February 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm #
    I hope you were wearing a beret when you wrote this. This looks phenom.
  13. DessertForTwo February 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm #
    Bistro to me is anything that comes out of Patricia Wells' book 'Bistro Cooking.' It's like country French dishes? Like I really know what that means...lots of butter, cheese & cream?
  14. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe February 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm #
    Delish. I can practically taste this and all of it's orzo-y, lemony, cheesy goodness. Sign. me. up.
  15. Steve @ the black peppercorn February 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm #
    This looks wonderful and must be so healthy! After all the Super Bowl snacks, this is a great thing to have.
  16. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. February 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm #
    oh yum! Can i come over?
  17. Lindsey February 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm #
    This looks fantastic. Lemon has been in almost all of my recipes in the last few days, so this would fit right in!
  18. Terri @ that's some good cookin' February 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm #
    I love it when someone reads my mind and does all of the recipe footwork for me, so that all I have to do is cook. This is the exact recipe I have been thinking about for weeks...something with orzo and lemon and chicken and olives, but didn't want to have to wade through either the recipe search process or the recipe creation process. Thank you!
  19. claire @ the realistic nutritionist February 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm #
    This looks absolutely perfect. Love it!
  20. Mrs. Measurement February 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm #
    Thanks so much for sharing. I've been getting so sick of boring baked chicken recipes. I love that this is both healthy and delicious.
  21. Jennifer | Mother Thyme February 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm #
    All the flavors and ingredients I love. Definitely have to make this for dinner one night!
  22. Yadsia @ShopCookMake February 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm #
    Whatever Bistro means, I just know that I want to eat this now. lol
  23. Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking February 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm #
    Oh, Bev, this looks so amazing!! And "Du-LICIOUS"!!! I have some orzo sitting in my pantry that I haven't figured out what to do with, I'm thinking this is its' destiny! Thanks!
  24. Kristy @ Sweet Treats & More February 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm #
    saw this on instagram and was drooling. now i'm drooling some more. looks bistro-licious!
  25. Deborah February 9, 2012 at 5:28 am #
    Right about now I don't care what it means - I only want some of this in my mouth!!
  26. Margarita February 9, 2012 at 6:24 am #
    Beautiful, classy, delicious!
  27. Sarah February 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm #
    According to the Food Lover's Companion (my "bible" when it comes to culinary terms), bistro means: A small cafe, usually serving modest, down-to-earth food and wine.This word is also sometimes used to refer to a small nightclub (the French "bistrot" means "pub"). Which seems to describe your food perfectly! Cannot wait to try this recipe and more! Thanks for posting!
  28. Aggie February 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm #
    I belong in a bistro, I just know it. You know what really makes this bistro-y? That olive. I have always wanted to watch Amelie. And I overhauled my pantry last week. No earring though.
  29. Elizabeth February 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm #
    Hi there; I just came across your blog and made this today. IT WAS SO YUMMY! I'm looking forward to looking at the rest of your posts and trying those recipes! :)
  30. Kara February 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm #
    Definitely adding this to my menu this week!
  31. Vita @ Juicer Depot February 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm #
    Bev, all your recipes look so delicious easy to make. I just want to try them all!!!!


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