I started out with the intention of making Mushroom Gnocchi, but found that the package of gnocchi had "gone over". I substituted chicken for the main ingredient, and orzo for the gnocci. Wow!!!!! Was my family impressed with this dish! It's not only beautiful, but really, really tasty!
1Bring one quart of water to a boil and pour over the mushrooms to reconstitute - cover and leave for 30-45 minutes. (It is important to let the mushrooms stay in the water at LEAST 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, cook bacon, drain, and chop it up.
2Drain and chop mushrooms, RESERVING ALL THE STOCK FROM THE MUSHROOMS - and use the brown mushroom water to cook the orzo. Add more water if necessary and take this opportunity to add salt to the water.
3While the orzo cooks, saute' the onion and the cooked, chopped bacon together until the onion is soft, 3-5 mins. Remove from the pan, add 1 Tbls. oil, if necessary, and add the chicken over medium heat until just cooked through (don't overcook). Set aside until the orzo is done.
4Drain the pasta, RESERVING THE JUICE, ONCE AGAIN - return the onion & bacon and the chicken to the frypan, on medium heat. Add chopped mushrooms, thyme, sage, cream, and 1/2 cup of the mushroom starchy water. Stir until you get a creamy consistency...if it starts to get too thick, add more of the mushroom water for a sauce-like texture.
5To serve: Place a bed of orzo in the middle of the plate, add one or more pieces of the chicken, and spoon mushroom sauce over the top. Enjoy!