One-Skillet Chicken with Buttery Orzo

Sister Act

One-Skillet Chicken with Buttery Orzo
One-Skillet Chicken with Buttery Orzo (WPLG, INC.)

Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit

kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), patted dry

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 fennel bulb, chopped, plus fronds, chopped

1 leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped

8 ounces orzo

⅓ cup dry white wine

2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided, plus extra if needed (we used about 3½ cups total)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium. Nestle chicken, skin side down, in skillet in a single layer with no gaps (if you can’t quite fit them all, wait until chicken shrinks slightly, then puzzle in the remaining pieces). Cook until meat is opaque around the edges and skin is deep golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Turn chicken skin-side up and transfer skillet to oven; bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 10–15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Remove all but ½ tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Set over medium heat; combine fennel bulb and leek in skillet and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek is looking golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add orzo and cook until pasta is darkened (it will take on a brown hue) to a nice nutty brown in spots and toasty smelling, about 3 minutes. Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting broth absorb before adding more, until orzo is tender and broth is mostly absorbed but pan is not dry, 10–15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking; mix in lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then chopped fennel fronds. Pile chicken on top and finish with lemon zest.