If you’re a parent and you don’t know any good one pot dishes, get on the bandwagon already! And wink, my One Pot Chicken and Orzo with Mushrooms is the perfect way to start.
The munchkins love it, too. Brace yourself for comments like “this chicken doesn’t look baked”, “the skin doesn’t look crispy to me”, and “I didn’t wish for this to be dinner!”. And in the end, they’ll tuck in and gobble it all up, because it’s delicious and that’s what kids are like.
The trick to crispy chicken skin (yes, it IS crispy, dearest daughter) here is to brown the chicken thighs skin-side down really well before making the rest of the recipe. Then just sweat the veg a little, stir in the orzo, add the liquids, prop the chicken on top and bake until done. Easy peasy, and just one dish to wash!
Let’s get the kitchen party started:
This song has absolutely no relation to the recipe, but it’s easy and delicious to the ears, her name is BEAUTIFUL in case you hadn’t noticed, so let’s just go for it, shan’t we.
Now make your chicken and orzo:
1 – Brown the chicken, skin side down: Well, first-first, heat your oven to 200°C (400°F or Gas 6). Then, heat a little oil in an ovenproof skillet (use a medium one, around 22cm or 8-9 inches) and brown the chicken skin-side down until very crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Flip, brown for another 2-3 minutes and remove from the pan.
2 – Next, sauté the onions and mushrooms: First, stir the onions (and leek, but shhh, don’t tell your kids; feel free to leave out if it’s an absolute no-go in your house though) into the hot pan. Cook until softened, then add the mushrooms and cook until done. The mushrooms take about 5 minutes to completely soften, so be patient!
Otherwise, too much water will come out of the mushrooms and make the orzo watery.
3 – Stir orzo and liquids into pot, add chicken and bake: Now you’re basically done with the recipe. Just stir the orzo into the onion/mushroom mix for a minute, then deglaze the pan with white wine (just stir it in an scrape the browned bits off the bottom >> deglazing). Then add stock, pop the chicken on top and bake.
4 – Garnish and serve: I like to sprinkle on a little chopped flat-leaf parsley (throw out your curly parsley, that one is just for cat food ads). Shaved parmesan. And a drizzle of lemon juice.
If you’re super into greens (I definitely am! weird like that, sorry not sorry), absolutely make a tossed salad on the side. Crunchy green leaves of butter lettuce in a sharp dressing make for a nice contrast to the creamy orzo and baked chicken thighs!
Otherwise, this is a simple “grab as much as the kids will let you” situation, because once they’ve gotten past their usual complaints, they’ll empty the pan quicker than you can roll your eyes at them.
One Pot Chicken and Orzo with Mushrooms
- 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (patted dry)
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 1 leek (white and pale green parts only, chopped)
- 300 g mushrooms (sliced (10oz))
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 250 g orzo (8oz)
- 80 ml dry white wine (1/3 cup)
- 500 ml low-sodium chicken stock (2 cups)
- juice from 1 lemon (chopped parsley, shaved parmesan cheese and black pepper, to serve)
- Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium (around 22cm or 9 inches) ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken skin-side down in the shimmering oil and cook until skin is crispy, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and leek until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir orzo into skillet and cook for another minute, then pour wine into skillet, scraping any browned bits off the bottom.
- Once wine has almost cooked away, stir chicken broth into skillet. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat. Nestle chicken on top and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until orzo is cooked and chicken is done.
- Serve with lemon juice, chopped parsley, parmesan shavings and freshly cracked black pepper.