1 pound asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces)
Salt and pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
4 garlic cloves (crushed and minced)
2 ¼ cups chicken broth
¼ cup Marsala
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
½ teaspoon lemon zest – optional (grated)
Prepare vegetables and set aside. (I found it handy to measure out all the ingredients before I started this recipe.)
In a Dutch oven or large kettle over medium-high heat cook the orzo until deep brown. Pour in a bowl and set aside.
Add one tablespoon of oil to the same pan and cook the asparagus until starting to brown and al dente. Remove the asparagus from the pan to a dish and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan, salt, and pepper the chicken and cook chicken until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a platter, and set aside.
Place the rice, onion, and ¾ teaspoons of salt into the same pan and cook until onion and rice start to brown. Add ¾’s of garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the broth, Marsala, and orzo, bring to a high simmer and arrange chicken into broth adding any juices that were left on the platter. Cover and cook until chicken is done. (165F.)
Remove chicken to a platter and quickly cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Stir rice mixture; cover the rice and continue cooking until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. (If the rice does not get done by the time the broth is evaporated, add chicken broth a little at a time, and continue cooking until rice is done.)
Mix in the peas, asparagus, basil, remaining garlic, and zest. Cover and let sit until vegetables are warmed through.