Chicken and Orzo Bake

A great one-pot meal for weeknights is this chicken and orzo bake. The cheesy orzo gets a boost of flavor and color from the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach.

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound dry orzo
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
  • ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (not oil-packed)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon wedges, for serving
    Directions

Step 1.

When you have assembled all the ingredients, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180°C).

Step 2.

Put some salt and pepper on the chicken’s two sides.

Step 3.

2 tablespoons of olive oil should be heated over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place half of the chicken thighs in. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and gently browned. Cooked chicken should be transferred to a platter. With the remaining chicken, repeat.

Step 4.

Lower the temperature to a medium level. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the leftover olive oil into the Dutch oven. Add the onions. Cook, stirring periodically, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Cook for about 30 seconds after adding the minced garlic and stirring.

Step 5.

Butter should be added to the Dutch oven. When butter has melted, add orzo and toss quickly to coat everything in butter. Add chicken broth very slowly. To remove any burnt bits, use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven. Remove from heat after bringing to a boil.

Step 6.

Bake the orzo, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Step 7.

Take out the Dutch oven from the oven. Add the dried tomatoes, Parmesan, zest and juice of one lemon, and spinach.

Step 8.

Nestle the chicken thighs into the mixture of orzo. When the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and an instant-read thermometer placed close to the center registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius), bake it for another 10 to 15 minutes with the lid on. Along with lemon slices, serve right away.

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