March 6, 2018


Dearest readers:  Instagram is full of inspiration these days.  I have a bookcase full of cookbooks, but time and time again, I look to Instagram for my inspiration!!  There are so many wonderful food bloggers out there that continue to inspire me every day.  Some blogs I mostly enjoy for their remarkable photographs.  And I enjoy reading some for their "out-of-the-box" recipes using ingredients I've never heard of, let alone, ever tried.  Some of the beautiful baking blogs are so much fun to scroll through or check out for their absolutely stunning decorating skills.  And that doesn't even touch upon my other passion, which is knitting and to a lesser extent crocheting.  Instagram abounds with amazing talent.

I have been inspired lately by the cast iron skillet recipes that are trending now.  I was in the line at the grocery store, and there with all the other magazines was a magazine with recipes solely devoted to Cast Iron Skillet Cooking.  So  . . .  I thought I would give it a try.  My cast iron skillets mostly sit in a lower cabinet and are seldom used.  The smallest one gets used for cornbread, and I bought the largest one for frying chicken.  But I prefer to fry my chicken in an electric skillet . . . what??  Just like my mother fried chicken.  And it turns out perfect every, single time.

So I dusted my cast iron skillets off, and so far, I've made three different recipes using them:  Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken and Orzo in Lemon Butter Sauce, and a pizza (in the que.)

I have a confession:  I've never used Orzo in a recipe.  (I know who has never used orzo?  Me!)  When Hubs began to eat dinner, he said the texture of this dish was a surprise because he was expecting the texture of rice!  It does make sense because it looks a lot like rice, only larger.

This recipe is absolutely full of flavor, and with the cast iron cooking, it can all be done like a casserole.  Actually, it is pretty much a casserole in a cast iron skillet.  I flashed fried kale  and sprinkled it on top after the "casserole" came out of the oven.

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, orzo, lemon, butter, extra virgin olive oil, capers, garlic chicken broth, and salt and pepper.  And if you would like an easier, healthier version, just add the uncooked kale into the casserole and bake it rather than frying it.

Flash fried kale.  Pretty, right??


.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

.  3 cups chicken broth  

.  2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

.  2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

.  1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic

.  1 large lemon

.  1 cup orzo

.  1/3 bottle of capers

.  salt and pepper

.  kale

.  canola oil


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Heat olive oil and butter in the bottom of a No. 8 cast iron skillet.  Salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides.  Fry the breasts in the skillet until they are golden brown, approximately three to five minutes on each side.  Remove chicken from the skillet.

3.  Add four slices of lemon and cook the lemon on both sides until golden.  Remove lemon from skillet.

4.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Next add chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the skillet.  Squeeze in the juice of the other half of the lemon and add the orzo and capers.  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and lemon slices back into the skillet.

5.  Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken tests 165 degrees F in the center part of largest chicken breast using a meat thermometer.

6.  Heat canola oil in a skillet and add approximately two cups of kale.  After canola oil is hot, add kale and fry for a few minutes until it has a crunchy consistency.  Remove from heat and remove to a plate lined with a couple of paper towels.  Sprinkle on top of casserole after it comes out of the oven.

7.  Serve to FAMILY AND FRIENDS!  


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