Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Orzo with Roasted Garlic and Black Truffle Oil

May 5, 2010

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Orzo with Roasted Garlic and Black Truffle Oil


Grilling is a favorite summertime past time for many.  There is nothing like lighting up the coals, cracking open a beer and slinging burgers, chicken and brauts on the grill.  This recipe will try to take traditional grilling and add a clean earthy appeal. A combination of grilled chicken, asparagus and roasted garlic on top of a bed of orzo hinted with black truffle oil makes for a light, clean and delicious meal.

Ingredients

2 8-10 oz. boneless chicken breasts

a bundle of asparagus

2 1/2 cups of orzo

tablespoon of lemon zest

1/2 cup of white wine

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of black truffle oil

2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of Hungarian Sweet Paprika

1 roasted garlic bulb

salt to taste

lemon wedge

Useful tool – Microplane

*the process of grilling will be omitted as it will be assumed that you, the reader, know how to set up and start your grill. Please note: make sure that the flame has died down a bit as not to cook the chicken too quickly, thus causing it to be undercooked. Also, make sure your vents are opened, depending on the grill you have, as fire needs oxygen to breath*

Preparation
In a large bowl, add boneless chicken breast and olive oil.  Next, add cracked pepper corns, white wine, cayenne and Hungarian Paprika and mix with hands.  Make sure  that each breast is coated with your (see what we made just there?) marinade.  Place in refrigerator, covered, for 30 mins.

Take one lemon and collect the zest using a microplane. Collect about a tablespoon. Take the bundle of asparagus and cut off the rough part of the stems (the very end) and discard (in a compost would be nice) and place in an aluminum foil open-ended packet. Do not close the packet yet. Center the asparagus and sprinkle on your lemon zest, cracked pepper and a bit of salt. Add 1 tablespoon of black truffle oil. Finally, close the packet and set aside.

Cooking
Place marinated chicken on the grill, again, making sure there is no active flame. Again, too much flame can burn the breasts on the outside and not cook through thoroughly. Grill chicken breasts for about 5-10 mins on each side, depending on the size. Chicken must reach 160 degrees. Once done, place chicken breasts on a plate and tent with aluminum foil. The chicken will continue to cook and release natural juices.

Next, add your asparagus packet and garlic bulb to the grill, cover and grill for 10-15 minutes. Check occasionally, making sure not to burn the bulb. The bulb should somewhat brown and soft to the touch. While the asparagus and bulb are on the grill, add 3 quarts of water to a pot and bring to a boil….don’t forget to salt to the water, as you will be adding orzo to it as soon as it reaches a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add orzo and let boil again for 7-8 minutes. Al dente is best, but if it’s a little over Al dente, no sweat….just don’t over cook it. Nothing like pasta that crumbles apart because of over cooking. Remove orzo immediately after the completion time and strain off water. Next grab your asparagus and garlic bulb from the grill and bring inside.

Serving it up!
In a large bowl, add in the orzo and add a hint of olive oil and black truffle oil and toss around a bit, making sure the orzo is covered. Next chop one or two chicken breast into cubes and set aside. Next slice up your asparagus into sections of about 1/2 – 1 inch and set aside. Remember the juice that should have released from the chicken breasts? Pour the juice onto the orzo and toss again. Take the garlic bulb, peel and release the newly roasted/grilled cloves, chop finely and set aside. Next add chicken, asparagus and garlic to the orzo and toss again, making sure each part is equally distributed throughout. Add a little more black truffle oil onto the dish and toss yet again. If you haven’t already noticed, there is a lot of tossing happening here. This is to help distribute the flavors evenly for every bite. Finally, serve and garnish with a lemon wedge. Use the wedge to squeeze a hint of lemon to the dish to make it “pop”! Finally, of course, fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste. Enjoy!

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