In this one pan meal, tender chicken is served over creamy orzo pasta. The orzo includes creamy goat cheese and fresh spinach for some greens. Bring this meal from the kitchen right to the dinner table and enjoy! If you prefer, you can transfer the ingredients to a casserole dish before baking.
Course: Main Dish
Keyword: chicken dinner, easy dinner, one pot meal, one-pan pasta
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Oven Safe Dutch Oven or Skillet
For the Chicken:
2tablespoonRed or White Wine Vinegar
1tablespoonDried Herbs(use a mixture of dried thyme, oregano, and basil or just use Italian seasoning blend)
20ozBoneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
2tablespoonCooking Oil(I like avocado, grapeseed, or vegetable oil)
For the Orzo:
1cupfinely diced White or Yellow Onion
2 ½cupsChicken Stock
1 ½cupsOrzo Pasta, uncooked
5ozBaby Spinach(if you want the spinach in smaller pieces, roughly chop it first)
4ozGoat Cheese, crumbled(optional; feel free to skip this or use feta)
Lemon juice, for topping
Preheat oven 400°F / 204°C,
In a shallow baking dish, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, dried herbs, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add chicken to dish and turn to coat in herb seasoning. Set aside for a few minutes (or transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for up to a day).
Heat an oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cooking oil.
When oil is shimmering, sear chicken on both sides until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Don’t cook the chicken all the way through at this point - it will finish cooking with the pasta.)
Set chicken on a plate near the stove, leaving pan over heat.
To heated pan, add butter. When butter melts, stir in onion with a pinch of salt. Saute until onions are soft, 7 to 8 minutes, scraping up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (If the pan looks dry at any point, add a splash of water.)
Add cream, stock, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer.
When liquids are simmering, stir in orzo and spinach, scraping down the sides so that all of the orzo is in liquid. Crumble goat cheese over pasta (you can leave it on top or fold some of it in to make an even more creamy pasta. Turn off heat under pan.
Nestle chicken into the orzo.
Transfer pasta and chicken to the oven and bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked and orzo is tender, 18 to 24 minutes.
Squeeze lemon juice over the finished dish.
You can remove the chicken breast and give the pasta a good stir before serving or just serve the dish straight from the oven to the table. (Stirring all of the orzo ingredients before serving will make it very saucy and creamy.)
Cooking Oil and Olive Oil - I like to use olive oil in the marinade for flavor and a high heat-approved cooking oil like avocado or grapeseed to sear the chicken, but feel free to use one type of oil throughout the recipe if you prefer.