The confident cook

Recipe: Greek-inspired chicken bakes over orzo with olives, capers, and lemon

One-pan chicken and orzo
One-pan chicken and orzoKaroline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

For a Greek-inspired twist on the universal tradition of cooking poultry over rice, try this easy weeknight dish. Sub orzo for rice, and add mildly salty capers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon rind, and fresh oregano to the pot. As the orzo cooks, it absorbs flavor from chicken stock and the juices in chicken thighs. Choose a large, deep casserole or Dutch oven to accommodate the hearty meal and serve it right from the pan.

One-pan chicken and orzo

Serves 6

8bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon olive oil
1onion, chopped
2ribs celery, chopped
3cloves garlic, chopped
2cups orzo
¼cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
¼cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives
2tablespoons capers
2tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2cups chicken stock
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

2. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large, flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 8 minutes. Turn and cook the underside for 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.


3. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon oil from the pan. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook for 8 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the orzo. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, lemon rind, salt, and pepper. Return the chicken, skin side up, to the pan. Add any juices from the bowl with the stock.

5. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked though and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs registers 165 degrees.

6. Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley. Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at kboehmgoodnick@gmail.com