Chicken & Orzo Summer Salad

In one month it will be the end of summer–and we’re cramming SO MUCH into it, that I just know it’s going to fly by! This week we’re going to sail to the San Juan islands with my in-laws, and hopefully see some beautiful orca whales! When we get home we travel to GREECE just a few days later to see my sister get married in the beautiful island of Skiathos, and tour Athens a little. The day after we get back my little guy, Braden starts going to preschool every day! My husband turns the big 3.0, and hopefully he’ll also get his pilot’s license! I won’t have time to blog many more summer recipes before the end of the season, but I really wanted to squeeze this one in! I have been making a LOT of salads lately, probably due to the pressure of fitting into my bridesmaids dress AND spending a week on the beach! And this salad is one of my all time favorites!! Ok. So it’s not the healthiest, but it has a LOT of really good stuff in it so you can feel good about eating it, and it’s so flavorful because, just like the rest of my summer, it has a lot going on in it! I hope you guys <3 this recipe as much as I do, and that you enjoy the rest of your summer too! xoxo

{for the parmesan orzo}
2 tbsp butter
1 cup orzo
1 14.5oz can chicken broth/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
{for the dressing}
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp grainy dijon
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
{for the salad}
1 package of mixed spring greens + baby arugula
2 ears fresh corn
2 zucchinis, sliced in half lengthways, then chopped into 1″ pieces
1 pint orange cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
2 avocados, chopped
{for the chicken}
2 large chicken breasts
2 eggs
3-4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small jug, and set aside in the fridge to let the flavors meld.

For the orzo: Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. Stir in 1 cup dry orzo, and sauté until lightly browned.
Stir in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir the parmesan into the cooked orzo, add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare the chicken: slice each breast in half horizontally, so you have 4 thin chicken breasts. Pound with a meat mallet to form a flat, even shape. Crack the eggs into a shallow dish and whisk with a fork. Pour the breadcrumbs into another shallow dish. Coat the chicken in the egg, then coat well with the bread crumbs.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat, add the zucchini, season with a little salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add to a large salad bowl. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil to the same saucepan, and add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes either side until done, or no longer pink in the center.

To assemble the salad: microwave the corn {with their husks} for 4 minutes on high. Add the corn, mixed lettuce & arugula, cherry & roma tomatoes, avocado and cooked orzo to the salad bowl with the zucchini and stir well to combine all the ingredients.