I used to watch Ina Garten on TV back in college, along with every other cooking show I could find. She was really accessible when I was learning to cook, because her recipes tend to be pretty simple and straight forward. This chicken in a pot with orzo is both of those things.
I liked to idea of this for a weeknight meal because everyone cooks in one pot and once you put it in the oven, dinner is basically done. This dish was pretty much what I expected. The broth had a lot of flavor because the chicken cooks in it (sort of a cheater homemade stock). There were a lot of veggies, which I love, and the orzo rounded it out nicely. I did feel like the flavors were slightly muddled in the soup, but we all finished our bowls and enjoyed the meal.
I served this with a salad on the side. Would be great with some fresh bread as well. The recipe calls for letting the orzo cook by adding it to the pan and waiting 30 minutes out of the heat to let it cook, but I just cooked mine in boiling water and added it in. Overall, this recipe was super easy, wholesome, and we enjoyed it.
Chicken in a Pot with Orzo
- olive oil
- 1 whole chicken about 3.5-4 lbs
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2 cups chopped leeks white and light green parts, cleaned and diced
- 2 cups chopped fennel stalks and core removed
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads
- 6 sprigs fresh time or 1 tsp dried
- 8 sprigs fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
- 10 sprigs fresh dill or 2 tsp dried
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup orzo
- Heat the oven to 350. In a large dutch oven or other deep oven safe pot, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and let sit without moving until the skin is deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the other side. Move to a plate and add all the vegetables to the pot.
- Cook the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, breast side up, to the pot. Add the stock, saffron, and enough water so that only an inch is still exposed. Tie the herbs together with kitchen twine and add the bundle, or add your dried herbs here.
- Add 2 tsp of salt and some pepper. Bring to a boil, and then place into the oven. Cook for about 1.5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked and the leg/wing separates easily from the bird.
- Discard the herb bundle and add the orzo, cover and let sit for 25 minutes or so. Or you can just cook the orzo in water and add it later like I did. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred the meat and add to the broth. Add a squeeze or tow of lemon juice and adjust the salt, pepper and herbs.