Latest Post

Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Pesto

Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Pesto

Skillets are amazing things. Considered trendy now, they have been an intricate part of kitchens for many years. The first known use of cast iron cookware dates all the way back to the Han Dynasty in China, around 220 A.D.  By the 16th century, casting techniques became widespread in Europe, quickly thereafter this versatile equipment has been a staple in households all over the world.

Chicken with orzo

There are a few reasons why cast iron skillets (and cookware) has become so incredibly popular in recent years. The main reason is health concerns. Many non-stick coated pans were shown to emit toxic fumes when they are heated past a certain temperature. Cast iron lasts forever provided you care for it properly. Lastly, cast iron is visually appealing and being used more often for presentation purposes.

As chef you don’t typically use cast iron, you use stainless steel. Because of this I was slow to come around to the amazing things a cast iron pan can do. But I got there, thanks to my husband. Skillets can do great things, sweet or savory and this skillet chicken with orzo and pesto is a fine example. Simple, one-pot dinners that are almost effortless are great, go-to options for busy families. Made entirely stove top, the cast iron skillet makes the chicken in this recipe nice and crispy but without drying it out.

chicken with orzo

Like a sheet pan dinner, this recipe is a great simple dinner which pleases most. This recipe is actually a play on a dish my mom made when I was growing up which she called “chicken and rice“, it was straightforward and not fancy, but I always looked forward to having it. The same could be said for this recipe. So I’m dedicating this dish to my mom, who at 75, continues to inspire me daily.

Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Pesto

March 21, 2019
: 4
: 15 min
: 30 min
: 45 min
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2-3 pounds bone-in, skin-on, organic chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1 cup yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups good quality chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Directions
  • Step 1 Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and season the chicken on both sides with salt. Set aside.
  • Step 2 Place the olive oil and butter in a large cast iron pan and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken (skin side down). Let cook for about 5 minutes or until the chicken has browned nicely. Using tongs, carefully turn the chicken and cook on the other side for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate near your work station.
  • Step 3 Place the pan back over the heat and add the orzo, using a spatula, mix to coat and cook until the pasta begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chopped onions and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  • Step 4 Place the seared chicken in the pan with the orzo. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Increase the heat back to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the orzo has almost absorbed all the liquid and the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5 Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the pesto. Cover again and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley (if using) and serve directly from the pan.

Recent Posts

Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Pesto

Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Pesto

Skillets are amazing things. Considered trendy now, they have been an intricate part of kitchens for many years. The first known use of cast iron cookware dates all the way back to the Han Dynasty in China, around 220 A.D.  By the 16th century, casting techniques […]

Irish Soda Bread With Golden Raisins

Irish Soda Bread With Golden Raisins

Irish soda bread is one of the most well-known and popular quick breads there are. Soda bread is a soft textured, cake-like bread that rises due to the reaction of the acid (buttermilk), and the base (baking soda). Although this simple classic is most often attributed […]

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows

Who does not love marshmallows?  My kids are huge fans for sure. Homemade artisanal marshmallows are now seen in gourmet stores everywhere, and they can often be rather pricy.  Classic flavors like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry are often available, but more adventurous ones like malted […]

Old Fashioned Cake Donuts With Chocolate Glaze

Old Fashioned Cake Donuts With Chocolate Glaze

The world is a better place because of donuts. Seriously, it’s true. Donuts make people happy, myself included. Birthdays mornings in my house are celebrated with donuts, it’s just something we’ve always done. At 13 and 11, we still have not stopped. I posted a […]

Mushroom Farro With Truffle Oil

Mushroom Farro With Truffle Oil

Mushroom farro is a hearty winter comfort food to me. The addition of black truffle oil makes this simple dish even more delicious.  Farro is an ancient grain from Mesopotamia that has been around forever. Considered a nutritious grain, farro is high in protein, fiber […]

Roasted Beets With Burrata + Pistachios

Roasted Beets With Burrata + Pistachios

Roasted beets with burrata and pistachios: these are a few of my favorite things. There is nothing all that fancy or complicated going on here, just a salad, but a fantastic one. Earthy flavors combined with creamy delicious burrata cheese to make the perfect pairing. […]


Healthy Smoothies

Dairy-Free Pineapple-Peach Turmeric Smoothie

Dairy-Free Pineapple-Peach Turmeric Smoothie

Day 5 of my smoothie week concludes with another easy, tropical-inspired dairy-free smoothie packed with nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day (or weekend). This is my pineapple-peach turmeric smoothie, and it is absolutely delicious. I can’t say this is my favorite of the 5 […]

Cranberry-Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Cranberry-Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Smoothie week recipe #4: a cranberry-orange creamsicle smoothie that’s completely addictive. Ever have a creamsicle as a kid? If you were a fan like I was, you are in for a treat with this cranberry-orange creamsicle smoothie that hits the nail on the head in the […]

Blueberry-Mango Antioxidant Smoothie

Blueberry-Mango Antioxidant Smoothie

Day 3, meet my blueberry-mango antioxidant smoothie. This is a more classic fruit smoothie packed with antioxidants. We already know the power of the mighty blueberry, but the addition of mango and coconut milk take this fruit smoothie to a new level. With a subtle […]

Pear-Oat Almond Smoothie

Pear-Oat Almond Smoothie

For my 2nd post of smoothie week I developed this tasty and satisfying Fall-focused, pear-oat almond smoothie. Even though it is not quite Fall, I am a bit obsessed with this smoothie right now. This is a great, go-to breakfast smoothie that is smooth, filling and […]

Mild Green Detox Smoothie

Mild Green Detox Smoothie

The end of Summer is approaching, Fall is almost here, and back-to-school time is at hand for many families. After a long summer filled with indulgences, it’s to get “back on track”.  With that in mind, I am declaring this week “Smoothie Week” on Simmer […]