From Appetizer to Dinner

One of the dishes I made for pour recent holiday party was the artichoke and olive bruschetta.   More Holiday Cheer  After the party, I still had some leftover, mainly because I think I ran out of the crostini and people weren’t sure how to eat it with no crostini.  Well, I hate to throw food away if I don’t absolutely have to, which as you know, doesn’t happen all that often.  I recreate into something completely different for later.  This is just how I cook, and have done so my whole life.  I was always raised with the waste not want not frame of mind.  Well, this dish was way to good to waste, so … of course I recreated into something different.  🙂

I started with this ….



Then I tweaked it a bit and finished with this …  I call it Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo.


I did not have a lot of the artichoke and olive mix left, but I had enough to make it into something new and different.  I combined the remainder of the mix in with some cooked orzo.  I pan fried some chicken that I stuffed with some of my leftover goat cheese, then topped it all with a yellow heirloom tomato sauce.   I know it seems like we had chicken twice in a row for dinner, but not so.  That is just how the timing of my posts worked out.

Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo


For the Chicken

2-3 TBSP flour

salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2-2 lbs chicken breast

2-3 TBSP olive oil

2-3 TBSP butter

3-5 TBSP goat cheese


Mix the flour and salt & pepper together and completely coat the chicken.  Add the olive oil and the butter to a skillet and when the skillet and the oil are hot, add the chicken.  Brown it on all sides, about 6-7 minutes per side.  Then remove the chicken from the oil and let cool.


While the chicken is cooking, prepare the orzo according the directions on the package and make your tomato sauce.  You can use any kind of tomatoes you like, but I had some yellow heirloom tomatoes that I wanted to use, plus, they are a little different.  With all this cold and snowy weather we’ve been having, I thought we needed a little sunshine, even if only for dinner.

The Sauce


2 large yellow heirloom tomatoes, or tomatoes of your choice, cut in large dice

1/2 yellow onion, diced fine

1 TBSP garlic

2 tsp each fresh sage, basil oregano and thyme or 1 tsp dried

1 cup dry white wine

3 TBSP olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

1-2 TBSP heavy whipping cream


Mix everything together except the wine and the cream and saute in the hot oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  If you are using dried herbs, you can cook them with the tomatoes and onions.  If you are using fresh herbs, add them when everything is cooked, at the end.


Once the tomatoes start to break down and the onions are translucent, add the wine.  Continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes or until most of the liquid from the wine has evaporated.  Then add the cream and mix everything together thoroughly.



Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

While everything is cooking, and the chicken has cooled, slice a pocket in the middle of the chicken and stuff the cheese into it.  Put the stuffed chicken in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and the juices from the chicken are clear.


When the chicken is cooked, and everything else is ready, it is now time to assemble everything together.  Toss the artichoke and olive mixture into the orzo and combine well.  Plate the orzo mixture fist, then slice the chicken into thin slices and place on top of the orzo.  Add the sauce on top of the chicken and … Voila!  Yet another tasty, healthy Mediterranean meal is created.


I served the meal with warm ciabiatta and the same dry white wine I used for the sauce.  I created a great meal AND used up some leftovers.  This is my favorite way to cook.



Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

26 thoughts on “From Appetizer to Dinner”

  1. It’s so funny. My daughter planned to make our classic recipe for tapenade using both green and black olives and when she started to make it discovered she had forgotten to buy the black olives, so we added a can of artichoke hearts instead. Everyone absolutely loved the combination, and we’ll be making it that way again!

    Liked by 2 people

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