I need to make things for my baby boy that will last longer than a couple of days because I’m a working mum. So I tend to make a few different types of oven bakes with different types of protein and vegetables. This dish is real easy to make and quick.
250g Orzo Pasta
1 Broccoli – Cut into very small florets including trimmed stalk to be cut into very small squares
1 – 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Spanish Onion – sliced and diced
3 Garlic Cloves – sliced and diced
2 small Organic Chicken breasts – either cut up into very small pieces (nail size) or pureed with a high speed hand blender (bamix) or food processor
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Thyme
2 med Carrots – peeled, sliced and diced into very small squares
1 Courgette – sliced and diced into very small squares
5 large or 10 small Button Mushrooms – thinly sliced and diced
1 small can Corn
200g Frozen Peas
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 tsp Sea Salt
⅛ tsp Ground White Pepper
1 Liter non-diary milk
2 heaped Tbs non-diary Butter
2 heaped Tbs Brown Rice Flour
1-2 tsp Sea Salt
⅛ tsp Ground White Pepper
200g Mild Cheddar Cheese – grated (Optional)
⅛ tsp ground Nutmeg
In a med saucepan, bring some salted water to boil, add the Orzo Pasta and cook until soft. A lot softer than al Dante.
Steam the broccoli until soft. The knife will smoothly run through the stalks.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil on med heat until soft and translucent.
Push the onion/garlic to the sides of the saucepan and add the chicken in the center.
Cook the chicken on med heat until brown – approx. 5minutes then stir the onion/garlic through the chicken.
Meanwhile place the peas in a glass bowl with 1 Tbs of water, cover with cling film and place in the microwave oven for approx. 2 minutes.
Add the herbs, carrots, courgette, mushroom, corn and peas to the chicken mixture. Combine well.
Add the stock and bring to boil, season then simmer on the lowest heat for approx. 30min with lid off.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees – fan forced oven. To make the Béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan on med to low heat. Once the butter has melted add the flour and instantly stir constantly using a large whisk. Continue to whisk until butter and flour has formed a roux i.e. paste like consistency. It’s important that you continue to cook and whisk the roux for another 3-5 minutes on med heat.
Then very very gradually, pour some milk onto the roux whilst you’re still whisking. The roux will absorb the milk slowly, once the roux has disintegrated into the milk pour the rest of the milk.
Continue stirring with the whisk now on the highest heat. Whisk/stir at a med pace.
As soon as you see the milk start to smoke, and the very first signs of boiling commence. Move the saucepan off the heat, break the egg over the Béchamel and continue to stir, add the cheese, nutmeg then season, taste and season some more.
Now to layer your bake. Scatter the steamed broccoli first. Then spread the Orzo over the broccoli.
Pour the chicken mixture over the Orzo.
Then lastly pour over the Béchamel sauce. If you have any cheese left over, you can sprinkle some cheese between layers if you like.
Bake in the center of the oven for approx. 20-30minutes.
You only want the Béchamel to very lightly brown. More like a very light beige colour.