Quick and amazingly delicious, try this spin on one of Tieghan Gerard’s skillet meals One Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken and Orzo. Please visit the link to Tieghan’s recipe to read her post and to ogle her beautiful photographs. Read about her here in “I Love Your Blog.” (In September, Tieghan published her first cookbook which is filled with delicious variations and stunning photos. Yep, I bought a copy!)
In only 45 minutes with simple ingredients, whoever you feed will be delighted with the fresh mix of flavors. I love, love, love the flavor of fresh lemon. It just brightens up a dish whether it’s juice, zest, or cut into slices. And in this recipe, you’ll use the lemon all three ways! Okay, maybe I overcooked the lemons, but they were still delicious.
I followed all Tieghan’s directions but substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs because we like dark meat. And I added fresh spinach instead of kale because it was marked down at the grocery. Her recipe says it serves six – hmmm – I guess Richard and I are heartier eaters – I would have guessed four. So, I increased the chicken to two pounds.
This is one recipe I had to try. Rich in flavor without being heavy, Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken with Orzo and Spinach is a winner, winner chicken dinner. (I know – cliche, but certainly true!)
Here’s a Tip!
Get yourself a garlic press. I’ve minced and minced. I’ve ruined more than one manicure grading the little fragrant bulbs on a Microplane, which a famous Food Network chef says she uses. Apparently her in-laws like the flavor of garlic, but not the minced little bits they find in her recipes. What is that? Really?
Anyway, a garlic press makes life a lot easier. No more cut fingers. Beautiful manicures stay intact. My daughter bought me this OXO for Christmas a few years ago. It’s heavy but easy to grip and does a fabulous job pulverizing garlic the way it should be. Pressed garlic is great to use to make garlic butter spread for, what else? Garlic bread.
Many thanks to Tieghan Gerard for her constant inspiration!
Grab your skillet and let’s get to work!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large lemon, sliced with seeds removed
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced, grated, or pressed with a garlic press
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 2½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 10 oz fresh spinach
- zest and juice of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Heat olive oil in large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat
- Sprinkle chicken thighs with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- When the oil is shimmering, add chicken thighs. Sear on both sides until golden brown, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside
- Add butter and lemon slices to the skillet. Sear until the lemon is golden on both sides, 1 minute or so. Place cooked lemon slices on top of browned chicken
- Add orzo and stir to evenly coat the pasta. Add garlic. Stir and cook until garlic is fragrant, no more than 1 minute
- Add white wine to skillet to deglaze. Add chicken broth, spinach, lemon juice. Bring to a boil and stir.
- Add the chicken and lemon slices and any juices accumulated on the plate
- Transfer skillet to the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest, and serve.