LEMONY CHICKEN WITH ORZO AND SPINACH TOPPED WITH GRATED HALLOUMI INSPIRED BY GEORGINA HAYDEN

If you’ve listened to today’s episode of Desert Island Dishes with the wonderful Georgie - you will know that this was actually our second attempt at recording. The first time we recorded was about a year and a half ago and Georgie mentioned this dish that her grandmother used to make and I swear that I just haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I asked her about it again and she described how her grandmother would poach a chicken and then cook pasta in the left over stock and then would serve the shredded chicken with the pasta and lots of grated halloumi. How heavenly does that sound?

I didn’t have an exact recipe for this and it was very much a case of making it up as I went along, but oh my goodness - it was so good! So delicious!

Completely and utterly inspired by Georgie and her grandmother but hopefully a slightly different take on it. I thought the orzo worked really well and it was kind of a cross between a comforting chicken soup and a risotto. Oh and if you haven’t grated halloumi - you must! It is so much more than just the squeaky cheese as Georgie says, in Cyprus they use it like we would use parmesan.

LEMONY CHICKEN WITH ORZO AND SPINACH TOPPED WITH GRATED HALLOUMI

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts

100g orzo

1 fennel bulb

1 onion

2 handfuls of spinach

800ml of stock - stock cube and boiling water is fine!

1/2 lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/2 block halloumi, grated

Method

First season the chicken breast and fry in a deep frying pan with a little olive oil. Just for a minute or so each side to get a bit of colour. Then remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan you cooked the chicken in, and with the left over oil - gently fry the chopped onion and fennel until soft. This will only take a few minutes.

Once soft, you can add the chicken and any juices back to the pan. Add the orzo and the stock and then bring to a simmer and allow to bubble for 12 mins.

Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the spinach. You want it wilted but not a mush. Add the shredded chicken and half the halloumi. Check the seasoning.

Finish with the lemon juice and top with the remaining halloumi.

Gorgeous!