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Carrot Orzo with Pistachio and Tarragon-Crusted Chicken

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    Colourful, delicious, and chock full of vitamin A, this recipe will be a hit with the whole family.

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    2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 shallot, minced
    1/3 cup (80 mL) raw pistachios, finely chopped
    1/4 cup (60 mL) whole grain bread crumbs
    2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange zest
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
    3 Tbsp (45 mL) tarragon leaves, chopped
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 1/4 cups (310 mL) carrot, grated
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup (250 mL) farro orzo pasta
    1 cup (250 mL) fresh carrot juice
    1 1/4 cups (310 mL) homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
    1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

    Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in pistachios and bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until pistachios are toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Transfer mixture to plate.

    In bowl, stir together Dijon mustard and tarragon. Brush chicken breasts all over with mustard mixture and press the skin side into pistachio mixture. Place chicken breasts, pistachio mixture up, on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

    While chicken is baking, prepare orzo. In medium saucepan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over medium-high heat. Add grated carrot, garlic, and orzo. Stirring frequently, cook for 4 minutes. Stir in carrot juice and stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stirring frequently, cook until orzo is al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and black pepper to taste.

    To serve, cut each chicken breast on the bias into 5 or 6 slices. Divide carrot orzo among serving plates and top with sliced chicken.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 579 calories; 136 g protein; 18 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 57 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 428 mg sodium

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    Carrot Orzo with Pistachio and Tarragon-Crusted Chicken

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