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Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Orzo Pasta

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  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + 3 tablespoons for the pan
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon butter, not melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup ground or grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 lb orzo pasta
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese (plain or tomato/basil flavored)
  • 3/4 cup julienned basil, loosely packed
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. In small bowl, combine chicken pieces, 1 tablespoon olive oil, melted butter, and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss together and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, mix together all breadcrumbs and Romano cheese.
  3. In small batches, toss chicken pieces into breadcrumb mixture making sure completely coated. Tip: Press chicken pieces into mixture a few times to make sure the chicken is completely coated and the coating sticks. Set coated pieces aside in separate dish.
  4. Preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in pan, turning occasionally (you don’t want to overwork it). Make sure all sides are browned nicely. Set aside.
  5. While chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. Strain.
  6. In large bowl, add cooked pasta and let slightly cool (about 3 minutes). Stir pasta once halfway through cooling time. Tip: the reason to cool the pasta is because the basil will change flavor if it is heated, and you want that raw basil taste in your dish.
  7. Add chicken, tomatoes, and feta to pasta. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir.
  8. Lastly, add basil and toss one more time.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serves 4
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