One-Pot Chicken With Orzo, Porcini & Cinnamon From Ottolenghi Test Kitchen

January 25, 2022
9 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
What You'll Need
  • 3 to 4 (25 grams) dried cascabel chiles
  • 4 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) dried porcini mushrooms (or another dried mushroom variety)
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 whole chicken (3.5 pounds/1.5 kg)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, 1 halved and the other cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/2 cup (60 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 to 8 stalks celery (500 grams), cut at a slight angle into 1 1/2 inch (4 centimeter) lengths
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups (320 grams) orzo
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Put the chiles and cinnamon in a small frying pan on a medium-high heat, and cook for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant and toasted. Transfer to a large bowl with the porcini mushrooms and 1 quart boiling water. Cover with a plate and leave to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and sprinkle all over with half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, then stuff the cavity with one lemon half.
  3. Put a large lidded Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken and cook on all sides until browned—about 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to the Dutch oven, along with the celery and onion, and cook for 6 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Return the chicken to the pan, breast-side up, then pour over the porcini liquid, along with all the aromatics, plus 2 teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, and immediately take off the heat.
  5. Transfer to the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir through the orzo, pushing some into the bird’s cavity. Cover again and bake for 20 minutes more, until the orzo is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid.
  6. Increase the oven heat to 450°F (220°C); remove the lid from the Dutch oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until browned on top. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. To serve, squeeze over the other lemon half, sprinkle with the parsley and serve directly from the pan, with the lemon wedges alongside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hmoshman
  • Hanne
  • jorlofsky
  • KateA

8 Reviews

Hanne March 8, 2023
Great recipe - I followed instructions, results just perfect. Next time I may add one more cascabel chili (no reason to remove the seeds - they are unnoticable and not hot).
I may reduce time 5-10 minutes after the orzo has been added. The chicken (1600 g free- range] was really well cooked through, and the orzo as well.
Hmoshman January 21, 2023
I made this without orzo or any grain substitute. I only added 2 cups of boiling water instead of a quart, and there was still much liquid leftover after cooking the chicken with and without the lid. I added some chopped frozen squash to the pot, and added some frozen peas after the first half hour at 350; and both of those were a good match for the recipe. If you don't like exotic mushrooms, I would use white or baby portobella mushrooms instead. I used ancho chili and real Ceylon cinnamon (placed in a mesh bag because it falls apart), but I didn't find the sauce had a strong flavor of either. I gave this 4 stars because it requires you to put back in the oven like 3 times to get the water to boil down, so it's too time intensive. I just ate the soupy "sauce." This is not, in my opinion, one of Ottolenghi's best recipes.
Hmoshman January 22, 2023
Also, only used 2 sticks celery and this was plenty.
Hmoshman January 22, 2023
I did not like the taste of this dish at all. I generally like less cinnamon than others, and putting in all that Ceylon cinnamon made it way too cinnamony. Gross, actually.
jorlofsky December 15, 2022
This is a delicious recipe, well worth making. I'd suggest two modifications based onmy experience:
1. Don't go by their timing; use a thermometer. After 30 minutes my chicken was already in the 150s and low 160s. I didn't cook any orzo, but after 30 minutes I jacked up the heat to 450 and let it go uncovered for 15-20 minutes. It was perfect, but that was with about 50 minutes total time. Their recipe is way more total time.
2. Either before or after toasting the cascabels, I'd recommend taking out the seeds, which is very easy. After I poked the chilis a few times in the pot to get them in a good place, they opened, and as a result I've got seeds in the broth. Not a big deal, but there is no reason to have seeds in there and they are so easy to shake out before cooking.
But as I said, a wonderful, delicious, recipe!
KateA February 7, 2022
I haven’t made this recipe yet but given the other 2 comments regarding temp and time maybe the method could be edited to state what internal temp should be, to me that’s the most accurate measure
[email protected] January 27, 2022
50 min at 400 was definitely too the video he says 350, that might be the issue. my chicken was overcooked at 40 min.
Connie W. January 26, 2022
In video, Ottolenghi says oven should be at 350, not 400/450 as in this print version. Is the above more accurate?