A touch of India in chicken, pasta dish

July 02, 2008|By Renee Enna | Renee Enna,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

This recipe borrows a few ingredients popular in Indian cuisine - curry powder, yogurt and mint - for a fast route to supper. Instead of rice, we're using orzo pasta, which has a similar shape and a sublime texture. Rice can be substituted if you wish, with basmati being the best choice here.

Garam masala, a blend of various spices (the mix varies but often includes cumin, coriander and cinnamon), can be used in place of the curry powder.

Vegetarians could replace the meat with cubes of firm tofu; just add the chickpeas and sauce about 1 minute after the tofu hits the skillet.

Renee Enna writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Saucy Curried Chicken

1 1/2 cups orzo or other small pasta

1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon each: curry powder, salt

freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Heat a large saucepan of water to a boil; cook orzo according to package directions, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the roasted red peppers, honey, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste in a blender; pulse until pureed.

Heat the oil in a large skillet; cook the chicken, turning once, until almost cooked, about 6 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and red-pepper sauce to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until chicken has reached desired doneness and chickpeas and sauce are heated through, about 2 minutes.

Remove pan from heat; stir in yogurt until blended.

Drain orzo; divide among 4 plates. Top with chicken mixture; sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of the mint over each.

Per serving: 556 calories, 7 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 23 milligrams cholesterol, 98 grams carbohydrate, 22 grams protein, 990 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber

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