Easy one-pot chicken with orzo comes together easily (in one pot, it’s true!) but still has a depth of flavor and feels like it took all afternoon. Coconut milk, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cilantro assert a warm Thai influence.
Let’s just dive straight into this spicy chicken orzo, because I cannot get enough! This recipe is so comforting and will provide your body with wholesome and nourishing food while also delivering contentment after a long day. This one-pot meal is quick and easy, but so tasty that it will seem as if you’ve been in the kitchen for hours.–Zorah Booley
WHAT IS GARLIC OIL?
Zorah Booley uses garlic oil in this recipe in place of an “unflavored” oil. Garlic oil is pretty much what it sounds like–oil, usually olive, flavored with garlic cloves. Using the oil is milder than adding fresh garlic, giving the finished dish a muted garlic flavor.
So what to do if you don’t have any on hand? You have a few options. First, you can add garlic to the dish along with whatever oil you’re using, one smallish clove per tablespoon of oil. Or if you want to go the whole way, you can make confit garlic and use the oil after you’ve smashed all the cloves over toasted, buttery baguettes.
Easy One-Pot Chicken with Orzo
- 1 tablespoon garlic oil plus more if needed
- 1 whole chicken cut into pieces, or 4 to 6 chicken pieces, bone-in and skin-on (I use thighs, legs and wings)
- 1/2 cup chopped raw shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 7 ounces orzo (1 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 2 cups canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- 1/3 cup coconut milk preferably full-fat
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes for garnish
- 1 cup fresh basil for garnish
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add shallots, cumin seeds, ground cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, coriander, salt, and pepper, and stir. If the skillet is dry, drizzle in a little extra garlic oil. Sauté mixture until the spices bloom and become fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in orzo and mix well to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring, add in chicken and mix well.
- Stir in diced tomatoes and chicken broth, raise heat to high. Bring mixture to a boil. Adjust temperature to maintain a simmer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Pour in coconut milk and stir well. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet with lid and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the orzo is soft, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, if needed, and stir in cilantro.
- Garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
What drew me to this recipe for easy one-pot chicken with orzo was the unusual combination of ingredients. I can usually get a sense of what a recipe is going to taste like but I was having difficulty with this one so I had to give it a try. The recipe promises to be quick and it was and the one-pot preparation is always a plus when you’re in a hurry.
I had to add more oil to properly cook the shallots and spices as there was virtually none left after browning the chicken. Cooking the orzo in the herbs, spices, and vegetables allowed it to absorb all these flavors and it was savory and delicious. I thought the cinnamon was a bit overpowering and will reduce the amount to 1/2 tsp in the future. I served this with fresh sauteed corn and a tomato, cucumber, and feta salad.
This easy one-pot chicken with orzo is a relatively quick, comforting, easy one-pot meal. Most of the ingredients can be prepped while the chicken is cooking for the initial 5-6 minutes and clean-up happens during the final 20-25 minutes making it great for weeknight dinners.
The spices make the dish warm and cozy with a little fire at the end. Letting the dish rest before serving makes the orzo creamier and brings back memories of the “hot dishes” (casseroles for the non-Minnesotans) from my childhood.
This recipe for easy one-pot chicken with orzo has everything in one pot! It is perfect for people like me that like to bring lunch to the office. The seasoning has a little kick that makes it even more interesting. I had all the ingredients in my pantry and it’s very quick just as the name suggests. The cherry tomatoes gave a delightful hint of sweetness that make it even savory. I tried it the next day and the flavors were so delicious!
Originally published on September 7, 2021