This one pan dinner of chicken and orzo, cooked with delicious Greek flavours, is a great time saver for busy nights! Add some briny feta to the pan right before serving for extra flavour!
Serve with roasted asparagus and radishes also cooked together for convenience.
We’ve all felt the pinch of time when it’s five o’clock and I haven’t even thought of what to make for dinner. One pan meals are what I often turn to or pasta dishes!
This recipe for chicken legs and orzo, flavoured with garlic, onions, oregano, cinnamon stick and bay leaves, and cooked with tomatoes, is a powerhouse of a meal.
What you get in the end is bold flavours, wrapped in a comfort food style dinner. It will make you feel warm and cozy but not heavy!
Crispy chicken legs rest on top of the most delicious orzo mixed with red peppers and artichokes, that have been cooked in a savoury tomato sauce.
I am going to be honest with you, as great as crispy skinned chicken is, my entire family through that orzo was the best part of this dinner.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- This not a difficult recipe to pull off but it does require you to cook it in stages. I have provided a step by step visual guide below for convenience.
- Since this recipe is designed to go from a stovetop to oven, it’s best to use a pan that is made for it. Ideally you should have a lid for that pan as well or you can cover it with aluminum foil. My cast iron casserole pan is what I use for such dishes.
- I am using whole spices like cinnamon stick and bay leaves here to add flavour to the dish. If you can’t find cinnamon sticks you can use ½ tsp of ground cinnamon instead.
- I used whole chicken legs but you can replace them with thighs or drumsticks. If you want to use chicken breasts instead eliminate the first 20 minutes of cooking in step 2.
- I love using marinated artichokes but you can safely omit them or replace with kalamata olives for extra flavour.
- Let the dish rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the remaining liquid to be absorbed by orzo.
What to Serve with Chicken and Orzo
Since this is a one pan dinner recipe, all you will need to think about is a vegetable side dish. Here are my personal favourites. Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Lemon Garlic Green Beans or Rainbow Slaw with Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing.
More Recipes Inspired Greek Flavours:
- Chicken Souvlaki Recipe
- Greek Tzatziki
- Air Fryer Greek Whole Chicken
- Greek Orzo Salad with Grilled Zucchini
- 1 tsbp olive oil
- 4 chicken legs
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 400g/14oz canned tomatoes chopped
- 500 ml/2 cups chicken stock divided
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 300g/1 ½ cups orzo
- 280g/1 cup jarred marinated or frozen artichokes drained if using marinated artichokes
- 80g/1/2 cup feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, which could be used in an oven later, and brown the chicken legs seasoned with salt and pepper until golden but not cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken to a separate plate.
- To the same pan add the chopped onion, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then add pressed garlic, sliced red pepper and dried oregano and cook for 2-3 minutes longer. Then add in chopped tomatoes and half of the chicken stock with a pinch of salt, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Place the chicken legs on top of the sauce, cover with a lid or aluminium foil and put in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven, uncover and remove the chicken legs to a separate plate. To the sauce add the remaining chicken stock, orzo and artichokes, stir, then bring the chicken back to the pan, cover and cook for 20 minutes longer. Then uncover and cook for 15 minutes giving the chicken legs some time to develop crispy skin. You might still have some liquid by the end of the cooking time but it will get absorbed by the orzo in 10 minutes or so. Serve topped with feta cheese.