Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Orzo, Olives, and Feta

By onetinyspark
March 4, 2015

Author Notes: Last night, when I came up with this easy one pot of goodness, I was pretty excited and super satisfied. It’s a perfect, easy meal to throw together during the work week and there are leftovers for the next day’s lunch to boot.onetinyspark

Food52 Review: I really liked the technique of toasting the orzo before cooking—it might be a gem of a trick for other pasta recipes. This is an all-around solid one pot meal, and especially nice using in-season tomatoes and basil (though it's best eaten day of). emily olson

Serves: 2 to 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cups crumbled feta
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of finishing olive oil—I like the smoked variety
  1. First, toast the orzo. It’s a bit of a pain, but it really improves the flavor. Heat a large skillet or a Dutch oven if you’re so inclined (I find a reason to use my Staub cocotte for everything) over medium-high heat. Toast the orzo until it is lightly browned, but before it gets too fragrant. Spoon the orzo into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Next up is the chicken. Pat the thighs dry and season with oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat until it is nice and hot and beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken for roughly three minutes on each side, then remove it and set it aside. Turn the heat down a notch and add in the other tablespoon of oil and the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant, but be careful not to burn it. Then pour in the broth and throw in the tomatoes and orzo. Give the mixture a good stir and bring it to a boil.
  3. Finally, add the chicken back in, cover the skillet/Dutch oven, and let it sit on medium-low heat until the orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through. This will take 15 minutes or so. Be sure to check on the dish from time to time as you don’t want the orzo to become mushy and overcooked.
  4. When ready, turn off the heat and add in the red pepper flakes, capers, Kalamata olives, feta, and basil. Top it all off with a drizzle of nice finishing oil, give it another good stir or two and you’re ready to serve!

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Reviews (44) Questions (0)


ellen E. January 14, 2018
Can this be frozen?
Abbey November 12, 2017
Love this recipe--full of flavor, and really easy!
jon407 September 23, 2017
We just made this last night and loved it. we didn't hav any orzo in the house so I ended up using quinoa and it was fantastic. We'll definitely make this again and might incorporate some of the suggestions already listed.
cosmiccook September 22, 2017
M--that is EXACTLY what the problem is. Orzo is a pasta, Arborio a rice. You'd need about 5 times or more of liquid using Arborio. <br />I've made this dish several times--with chicken AND shrimp. I add frozen artichokes quarters, lemon slices and wine. When doing seafood I used seafood stock. Do try it again w Orzo--you won't be disappointed.<br />
Valerie September 22, 2017
Have made this twice now. I actually cook the thighs for a little while to tenderise them a bit more (it's just that I prefer them a tad overdone!) and added the orzo for the last 10 - 15 mins so that it didn't get overcooked! However, with the amount of orzo in the recipe my dish certainly looked a little different to your picture - much more orzo in mine. However, I didn't mind as I love orzo. All around a great and tasty dish. The final addition of olives, capers, feta and basil makes all the difference. (I probably increased the amounts a tad if I'm honest - love those flavours) Delicious!