Saturday, January 16, 2016

One pan chicken and orzo

I never want this dish to end. Greek inspired with the lemon, feta and is so good and easy. It started because boneless chicken thighs were on sale, I can't bring myself to buy them off sale and I never have time to debone them myself. The rest of the ingredients are pretty much always here so this came together easily. The added bonus is that I only used one pan, my husband (aka the one-man clean up crew) will appreciate that. A little side note- will you look at this parsley
It is mid January in Connecticut and I still have parsley in the garden! You should also know that it never looked this good all summer. 
Moving along, here's what you'll need:
1 pkg boneless skinless chicken thighs (10)
1 large onion diced
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup pitted calamata olives chopped
1 lb orzo
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth 
Fresh parsley
1 cup grape tomatoes halved
Olive oil 
Feta cheese
Salt, pepper, rosemary, and a pinch of dried oregano 
Heat a large skillet and brown seasoned chicken in some oil over medium high heat, approximately 5 minutes each side. 
Remove chicken and set aside. It's ok if it's not cooked through. Add onion and garlic to the pan, scraping up bits on the pan. Sauté until wilted and then add the orzo, stirring to coat with the onion. Continue to toast the orzo for a few minutes. Add the wine and lemon zest and juice and stir in until absorbed. Add the broth, olives and tomatoes and bring to a boil. 

Reduce to simmer and place chicken on top, cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. 
Check it a few times to be sure that the orzo isn't sticking and that you have enough liquid. You can add a splash more of broth or water if needed. 
When it's finished sprinkle with parsley and crumbled feta. I didn't need to season this dish other than when I cooked the chicken, the olives and feta are salty enough on their own. 
Speaking of salt...
Here's a tip that doesn't pertain to this particular dish but it's handy when cooking pasta. 
I add salt right in the box of pasta while I'm waiting for the water to boil and dump it all in together. I have a few reasons for this. 
1-I can never remember if I salted the water or not. 
2- if I pour the salt in the water from the jar all of that steam clumps the salt. 
3- after 11 science fairs with my kids I still can't remember what boils faster, salted or unsalted water. 

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