Orzo with Orange-Marinated Chicken, Spinach and Edamame

One of the recipes on my meal plan that I did stick to during last week's eating-on-$20 escapade was this salad that I made up after deciding I liked the way all the ingredients sounded together in my head. That still counts as a recipe, right?

This recipe served me particularly well throughout the week, as I was able to put it into two separate Gladware containers and eat it for lunch two days in a row. Thanks to the dressing, it tasted even better after a day of resting and would hold up beautifully if you made it the night before to serve as a salad or cold entree the next day.

As mentioned earlier this week, two of the reasons I liked this recipe so much were that it (a) used some vinegar I had lying around and (b) used more than one part of the oranges I'd bought. The dressing benefited greatly from both of these things. Feel free to tweak the dressing to taste, as you might not prefer it as spicy or as vinegar-intensive as I do.

Dressing (a very loose vinaigrette):

  • 1 part olive oil
  • 1 part rice wine vinegar
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • juice of 1 medium orange
  • 6 dashes of orange bitters
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Sri Racha (rooster sauce) to taste


  • 2 cups of cooked orzo
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 c. edamame
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 12 to 15 leaves of spinach

Whisk all ingredients for dressing together until well mixed. Reserve half and set aside.

Marinate chicken thighs in the other half of your dressing. After at least an hour, bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Set baked chicken aside and let cool while you cook the orzo.

Drain orzo and put back into pot. Add the spinach leaves and edamame. The heat from the orzo will wilt the spinach and thaw the edamame if it's frozen. After chicken has cooled, remove the meat from the bones and shred it. Add shredded chicken to orzo mixture. Pour remaining dressing on top and mix until incorporated. Add diced oranges before serving. Top with sunflower seeds for additional crunch and salt if desired.

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