One-Pot Wonders

Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Orzo, Olives, and Feta

March  4, 2015
28 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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
Ingredients
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Joan Thompson
    Joan Thompson
  • Bethany
    Bethany
  • Michelle
    Michelle
  • Rachel Jean Easton
    Rachel Jean Easton
  • Liz Conran
    Liz Conran

70 Reviews

Quinn January 7, 2021
Thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Adding the last ingredients after taking pot off the flame creates little bombshells of flavor. Will definitely be making again. Especially good for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
 
KathiCville December 29, 2020
Wow! I chose this dish to inaugurate my new Staub cocette! Fabulous! I made two small changes—substituted one cup of diced tomatoes for the grape tomatoes, and I skipped the olives (but only because I didn’t have any in the cupboard). Amazing flavor! Thank you!
 
Joan T. October 18, 2020
This is a great one pot meal any time of the year. It’s flavorful, simple, and relatively quick. I’ve used quinoa in place of the orzo at times.
 
cosmiccook September 23, 2020
This dish really lends itself to additions. Just made it again. In addition to chix stock, had bone-in thighs so cooked longer in broth before adding orzo. I added the feta brine & wine. To the pot I added some 'shrooms. frozen chokes & 1/2 preserved lemon I needed to use up. Used Trader Joe's Chili Crunch & Mushroom umami for additional flavoring. EXTRA garlic, dried basil & onion as too tired to cook and just wanted an easy dish.
 
Author Comment
onetinyspark September 23, 2020
Yesss! Make it work for you. Love it!
 
cosmiccook September 24, 2020
My first preference is with shrimp--but due to all the storms in t he gulf, shrimpers are not out.
 
Carolyn K. September 20, 2020
Made this last night (with a few tweaks) and it was a hit! Added artichoke hearts as suggested by another reviewer. Substituted white wine for chicken broth (added a bit of Knorr boullion powder). Just used half as much orzo (and half as much liquid) as I wanted more chicken than pasta. Simmered the thighs in sauce for 30 or so minutes. Then, right before serving heated back up and added orzo to finish.
 
Bethany September 14, 2020
Flavorful! Don’t be shy with the spices and add a bit more garlic
 
Michelle July 6, 2020
Loved this recipe and it was so easy to make.
 
sarala D. June 27, 2020
excellent! Had chicken thighs with bones, so I used them, No difference that I could see. I used Israeli couscous ( which is really a kind of pasta) , which I toasted and then used as the orzo in the recipe. Didn't have capers, but hardly missed them. I used my le cruset dutch oven, on top of the stove. Perfect! I will certainly make this again. 5 stars!
 
Outi April 13, 2021
Orzo is pasta as are both kinds of couscous - so not a big difference.
 
Rachel J. February 29, 2020
We just got a Dutch oven so I’ve been scrolling through recipes to try. I made this last night and let 👏🏼 Me👏🏼Tell👏🏼You👏🏼! I would make this again and again and again. Five stars. LOVED it. I don’t even write reviews on recipes but I had to share! Thank you!
 
Author Comment
onetinyspark February 29, 2020
So happy you love the recipe!
 
Dennis B. December 7, 2019
This is a wonderful recipe and has become one of our regulars! It's fun to make and very rewarding afterwards. A one pot dish and very easy cleanup in 45 minutes or less.
 
gardenchickens October 11, 2019
Ditto the raves; I made it as written with BI-SO thighs and olives to taste, results perfect. Indeed it is a very satiating dish, to be filed as a keeper, repeater, company-worthy, week-night rotation, and favorite. Spinach is not necessary, might be too much. If another side dish is desired, anything green would work.
Yum!
 
Liz C. October 8, 2019
I made this on Saturday evening and my husband and I loved it. It was the first dish that sprang to mind when planning dinner for friends this weekend. I might add some spinach at the end as suggested in some reviews. Very bright- and clean-tasting.
 
Tammy R. October 1, 2019
I should really be on a show called "World's Worst Cooks" because I have absolutely zero talent in the kitchen - I prepared this recipe tonight and it was pretty simple and very tasty - the only thing is that I didn't let enough of the juice cook out - was too afraid of letting the Orzo over cook - I will definitely make this again - very tasty!
 
Author Comment
onetinyspark October 1, 2019
So happy you enjoyed it!
 
Jennifer August 7, 2019
Again to repeat- amazing!!!
I skipped the orzo and chicken broth and served over polenta.
Thank you for the recipe.
 
Christine G. June 24, 2019
This recipe is amazing! I embellished by including shallot after I browed the chicken, then I added the tomatoes and the garlic and sauteed it for a little longer then called for. I deglaze the pan with a glug of white wine. I added the olives and capers as the chicken braised in the sauce. In addition to fresh basil, I added a handful of fresh thyme from my garden. Love, love, love this.... make sure you have plenty of warm crusty bread!
 
Author Comment
onetinyspark June 24, 2019
Thanks so much for your review! I love your additions - I'll be sure to try them. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.
 
SCalabretta December 13, 2018
Even without most of the ingredients (tomatoes, olives, capers--I know, I know), this was delicious. Toasting the orzo kept it from becoming mushy. I added spinach and a squirt of lemon at the end.
 
KitchVega October 15, 2018
I made this tonight because by some miracle I had all these ingredients on hand. I also added half a tablespoon of nduja for more of a spicy kick. I thought it was great with chicken but I think really amazing with shellfish such as shrimp or lobster. Well done and I will make again!
 
BahtHarim October 7, 2018
Lovely recipe, I will definitely try it. However, I would use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, and brown them first. They have the best flavor as compared to boneless skinless thighs, and the Browning will add some lovely fond to the pot and add much deeper flavor to the entire dish.
 
Sarah September 30, 2018
Would spinach be good added into this?
 
Author Comment
onetinyspark October 1, 2018
I think so! I’d add it in towards the end so it can wilt with the heat of the other ingredients.
 
ellen E. January 14, 2018
Can this be frozen?