Last night I took some major creative liberties with a chicken orzo recipe. Of the 12 ingredients (not including water), I modified about half and threw in a few other ingredients. I don’t even know how much the final product resembles the dish I set out to make.
The first issue that I ran into is that I couldn’t find sun-dried tomatoes at the grocery store. I’d reached my patience limit, so instead I opted for Italian style diced tomatoes. With a full can of those, I decided not to use the plum tomatoes. I also didn’t use marjoram (in part because I had no idea what it was, and after a google search I realized I could probably just use my own mix of herbs) and nixed the cheese (which seems like blasphemy).
I’d contemplated leaving the artichoke hearts, since I go back and forth on whether I like them. Aside from spinach-artichoke dip, I haven’t cooked with them much. I also have mixed results when I order dishes with artichokes at restaurants. Long story short, I included them but was a bit skeptical. And it probably should probably come as no surprise that I added sautéed mushrooms and kalamata olives to the dish.
When I finally saw (and tasted) the finished product, it immediately reminded me of my Mediterranean chickpea salad and Mediterranean chicken, which tend to be staple recipes for me. Apparently if you throw chicken and grains together with tomatoes, kalamata olives and mushrooms, I’m set. The thing that made this a bit different was orzo (and truth be told, I’d prefer potatoes or even egg noodles instead) and the artichokes. The diced Italian-style tomatoes did as well, but that was mostly a fluke.
I think this is a hint that I need to start branching out with my recipes…