This Brown Butter Parmesan Orzo is a perfect companion for almost anything but especially my Chicken Piccata. Orzo, also called risoni, is a pasta that looks like a large grain of rice and absorbs liquid and flavor a lot like rice. This Brown Butter Parmesan Orzo has the creaminess of a risotto but without the need to be stirred constantly.
I rarely make pasta as a side dish except for this particular recipe because it is truly special and different. I’m always impressed by how good the kitchen smells when I make this. The brown butter adds complexity and a nutty flavor to the orzo and pairs perfectly with the white wine and parmesan. Making brown butter is really easy, you just melt butter in a small pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until it turns light brown. Cooking the orzo in that delicious flavorful brown butter before adding the liquids gives it a beautiful caramelized color. Once you add the liquids, cook for 12 minutes. It’s important to note that when you remove the cover after the 12 minutes, it will still be very wet and you will think that I have lost my mind but don’t worry, it will set once you add the parmesan and let sit for 5 minutes longer.
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 2 tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup orzo
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Thinly sliced fresh chives or other herbs (optional)
- Bring the chicken broth with ½ cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Cook the butter in a medium pot over medium heat, stirring and swirling the pan from time to time until the butter turns golden brown and start to smell nutty, about 2 minutes.
- Add the orzo to the butter and stir to coat well and cook until the orzo start to color and some turn golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring well.
- Add your hot chicken broth and cover, reduce the heat to low. Cook for 12 minutes.
- Uncover, set aside and add your parmesan, season with salt and pepper. You will think it's not ready and very wet, not to worry, it will set.
- Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Uncover, stir and you're ready to serve. Garnish with chopped herbs if using.