Looking for the perfect way to change up a weeknight meal?
Apple Cranberry Chicken Orzo is it. Easy, flavorful, and such great texture. I absolutely adore it. But before I delve into the recipe, let’s talk a little about the season, shall we?
The air is brisker, the nights are longer, the leaves are almost gone. Football is still being played on fields and in backyards, there are fires being burned in the fireplace and in huge bonfires.
I love this time of year, because of all of the reasons above, of course, but also because one of my favorite holidays is fast approaching: Thanksgiving. I love all holidays, but Thanksgiving, to me, is a time to see all of my family, my friends, the people I love. We have a huge meal at my parent’s house, and uncles, aunts, cousins, babies…everyone comes in swarms. It’s full of fun and laughs, hugs and smiles. It’s also full of amazing foods.
A great staple at any holiday meal is the cranberry. It’s so versatile! Think about it, if you will. The cranberry is amazing either cooked, fresh, or dried, so there are dozens of ways to use it in your holiday meal.
Cranberry juice and a few skewered cranberries can really take a mixed drink up a notch. Not only will it taste great, but it will look fantastic as well. Cranberry Martini, anyone?
Dried cranberries, a little goat cheese, some walnuts, arugula, and maybe even an orange-cranberry vinaigrette would make an incredible meal opener. The textures would be outstanding!
Of course, one of the first dishes to come to mind is cranberry relish, but why not change it up a bit with the addition of oranges or pineapple? Another great side is a cranberry corn muffin, or perhaps a cranberry slaw. Roasted cranberries will never go unloved, so give those a try as well.
Use those gorgeous berries as a topping or garnish on your favorite desserts – anything from a mile high cheesecake, to a coffee style cake. The color will really pop, and the flavor will zing…just what you want around the holidays.
One of my favorite new dishes is the recipe I mentioned earlier, which I created for Aldi, and it has become quite a family favorite around here. It also incorporates cranberries – they are dried – which adds a nice texture to this healthy recipe. Carrots, onion, apple, asparagus and chicken round out this flavorful pasta dish, and once you see how easy it is to make, you’ll be making it time and again.
Apple Cranberry Chicken Orzo
- 1 box Orzo, prepared according to box
- 1 pound Chicken Breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoons Ground Ginger
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 medium Sweet Onion, diced
- 4 Carrots, thinly sliced
- ½ bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 Fuji Apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/4 cup Apple Cider, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- While orzo is cooking, brown chicken pieces in a large stir fry pan or wok in a tablespoon of oil or butter. As you sauté, add garlic powder, ginger, ¼ cup apple cider, and salt and pepper.
- Once chicken has lightly browned, add onion, carrots, apple chunks, asparagus, cranberries and 1/4 cup apple cider. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- While vegetables are cooking, combine remaining 3/4 cup apple cider, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Whisk until smooth over low heat until slightly thickened.
- Once orzo is finished cooking, add to stir-fry pan and top with the apple/soy sauce. Stir in pan for one minute; serve hot.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Aldi. All thoughts and opinions are my own.