Chicken, Olive, and Orzo Bake
This is a great one-pot dish full of summer flavors that can also be enjoyed in the winter when you want to introduce some sunshine into your home on those long, dark days. Orzo is about the same size as a grain of rice and has a lovely texture, which holds sauce beautifully.
- 2 Teaspoons olive oil
- 6-8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ Cup white wine
- 1 chicken stock cube mixed with 1¾ cups water
- 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons triple concentrated tomato puree, such as Bomba! XXX
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 6 Ounces orzo pasta
- 8 Ounces Kalamata olives
- 1 Teaspoon honey (optional, but helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped, for serving
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan, and then fry the chicken in two batches until golden on both sides, adding extra olive oil if needed. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the onions until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine, stirring to deglaze the pan.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, concentrated tomato purée, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and lemon juice. Return the chicken to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the contents of the pan to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.
Then, add the orzo, olives, and lemon zest and let the mixture simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pasta is cooked al dente, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
When the pasta is cooked through, taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Stir in the honey, if using. Top the dish with chopped parsley and serve.