CHICKEN AND ORZO RAT-A-TAT BAKE

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FOOD -

WHAT YOU’LL NEED 1tbsp co­conut oil 1 red onion, peeled and diced 1 cour­gette, trimmed and diced (250g) 1 aubergine, trimmed and diced (250g) 4 sprigs of fresh oregano 4 sprigs of fresh thyme 3 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped 1tbsp tomato puree 250g orzo 1 x 400g tin of chopped toma­toes 250ml chicken stock 2 x 200g chicken breasts, cut into 1cm slices 1tsp sweet smoked pa­prika Salt and black pep­per Small bunch of pars­ley, roughly chopped Small bunch of chives, finely chopped METHOD Pre­heat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/ gas mark 6).

Melt half of the oil in a heavy-based flame­proof casse­role dish over a medium to high heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute, then throw in the cour­gette, aubergine, oregano, thyme and two chopped gar­lic cloves. Fry, stir­ring reg­u­larly for five min­utes, un­til the veg­eta­bles are start­ing to soften.

Add the tomato puree and orzo and mix to com­bine. Pour in the chopped toma­toes and chicken stock and bring the mix­ture quickly to the boil, stir­ring reg­u­larly. Put the lid on and slide the dish into the oven.

Mean­while, melt the re­main­ing oil in a large fry­ing pan over a high heat. Add the sliced chicken and the re­main­ing chopped gar­lic clove. Stir-fry the chicken so that it is vir­tu­ally cooked through — it is more im­por­tant at this stage to colour the meat than to cook it through.

Sprin­kle in the pa­prika along with a pinch of salt and pep­per and toss the whole lot to­gether.

Re­move the pasta from the oven and care­fully take off the lid, stir in the chicken, slide the lid back on and bake the whole lot to­gether for 10 more min­utes.

Af­ter 10 min­utes, take the dish from the oven and stir through the pars­ley and chives. Serve straight from the dish to the masses. SERVES 4

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