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Skillet Chicken With Orzo And Pesto

Skillet chicken with orzo and pesto for the start of Spring.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Black Pepper, Chicken, Chicken Stock, Clove, Dinner, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Orzo, Pesto, Skillet Chicken, Tomatoes, Unsalted Butter
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 1/2-3 pounds Bone-in, skin-on, organic chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil Extra Virgin
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 2 cups Orzo
  • 1 cup Yellow onion Small dice
  • 2 nos Garlic cloves Grated
  • 1 1/4 cups Chicken stock Good quality
  • 1 cup Canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley finely chopped


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and season the chicken on both sides with salt. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.