Wednesday, July 3, 2013

[Recipe Share] Baked Maple Dijon Chicken Breasts and Creamy Orzo with Asparagus

First things first.

This is the third time I've made this creamy orzo with asparagus recipe and it's official, I will never make boxed macaroni and cheese again.  I was a total Kraft addict growing up.  If you were to ask me my favorite food probably up until age 25, I would have claimed the Blue Box.  Now, that I care about what I eat, and even more what Ashlynn eats, I've been making her Annie's Mac on occasion.  Still easy, tasty, and less crazy ingedients.  However, this orzo is just as easy and it's totally natural!

The chicken dish was super easy and extremely tasty too!  And the best part is Ashlynn ate both.  Granted, we are blessed with a non-picky eater... at least so far, I'm waiting for the day she demands nothing but chicken nuggets and pizza.

Baked Maple Dijon Chicken Breasts
(recipe adapted from

1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar  (I used White Wine Vinegar)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp fresh rosemary for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Line an oven-proof pan with 2 layers of tin foil.
In small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Place the chicken thighs in the foil layered pan then pour the mixture on top of it. Turn the chicken around in the sauce to coat it completely. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let chicken sit for 5 minutes then transfer to a plate. Do not discard the liquid. Immediately after plating chicken, whisk in the 1 tbsp. of cornstarch into the liquid in the pan. You’ll create a nice, thick sauce to drizzle over your chicken. You need to do cornstarch mixing immediately because the liquid needs to be hot in order for it to thicken properly.
Sprinkle rosemary on top before serving.

And now for what is likely to become a weekly side dish in our home....

Creamy Orzo with Asparagus and Parmesan
(recipe adapted from Sugar and Spice by Celeste)

1 cup orzo
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp butter or substitute (I use vegan Earth Balance)
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil over medium heat. Add orzo and cook 5 minutes.

Add in the asparagus to the same pot (this will allow the orzo and asparagus to cook in the same pot and keep the clean-up to a minimum!) and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until asparagus and orzo are tender. Drain and return to the pot.

Quickly add the parmesan cheese and butter. Stir thoroughly, allowing both the cheese and butter to melt. Slowly add the milk to the mixture, while stirring. Continue to stir and add milk until you reach your desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper.

This dish would be so easy to add in any veggie you, or your children, like - green beans, broccoli, peas, you pick! Happy kids, happy moms!


  1. Looks so good, especially the orzo! I think I have almost everything to throw this together too! Love that

    1. It's so easy! And while not like 5 star restaurant tasty, it's definitely comparable to a boxed mac and Ashlynn loves it! And I pretty sure I only make recipes with "in house" ingredients... hate when there are obscure things I have to go out special for!

  2. Bookmarking this and making it ASAP!

  3. Wow...this looks and sounds beyond delish!! Must try asap!

  4. I will definitely be trying that creamy orzo & asparagus!! My hubby is a huge fan of asparagus and I love anything with cheese in it!

  5. The original recipe used cream, so I'm sure that would make it richer if you'd like. We love asparagus too, and since A doesn't have teeth (only two on bottom) having it cut up like this is an easy way for her to eat it!

  6. Okay that's it I am totally making the orzo on Friday for dinner thank you so much for sharing the recipe I'm so excited to try it.

    Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm

    Follow me on bloglovin

  7. Mmmmm, that looks totally delicious!

  8. um...yum! totally trying this. cute blog!

    mikie and kristen

  9. I made this for dinner tonight... Very yummy! Though my sauce on the chicken dried up during baking so I wasn't able to do the cornstarch part.

    1. That's great! I actually didn't do the cornstarch part that time either, but I have done it with other recipes and it definitely works. I think mine for this dish was already thick enough it didn't really need it... glad you enjoyed it!


I love hearing from my readers! Be sure to check back as I try to respond to all comments and questions here in the comment form :)