Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo with Lemon and Olives
Mediterranean cuisine is known for its fresh and vibrant flavors, incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and aromatic herbs. You’ll love this Mediterranean chicken and orzo recipe with lemon and olives because it comes together quickly and easily with minimal fuss.
As it bakes in the oven, the lemon reveals a refreshing acidity that balances out the saltiness of the olives. At the same time, the orzo instantly soaks up all the luscious chicken juices and fruit flavors, becoming oh-so-tender without getting mushy.
Why you should make this recipe...
This is the dish to make if you want something easy, flavorful, and healthy. Or maybe something to impress the in-laws or other folks. It’s also great if you need make-ahead freezer meals for protein-packed lunches. Need I twist your arm more?
Just in case you haven’t guessed by now, I’m trying to convince you that you’ll be happy that this dish almost always fits the bill.
So, let’s delve deeper into the ingredients and our cooking method to master the recipe and enjoy a mouth-watering culinary experience.
Lemon & Olives in Mediterranean Cooking
When it comes to Mediterranean cuisine, lemon and olives are two ingredients that are considered essential in many dishes. Both fruits offer a unique taste that adds depth and flavor to many Mediterranean dishes. Let’s look at how these two ingredients are used in Mediterranean cooking.
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Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs + Common Cooking Conversions
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Looking for more flavorful pasta dishes? Then, try these popular recipes too!
Before we go...
We hope you’ll love this recipe as much as we do!
This dish is perfect for busy weeknights when you want something easy, flavorful, and healthy. The combination of lemon and olives gives the dish a bright and tangy flavor, while the chicken and orzo make it hearty and satisfying.
To print or save the recipe, scroll down for the recipe card below. Then try it tonight and enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean in your home!
Thanks for stopping by. Have a happy time cooking!
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Chicken & Orzo with Lemon & Olives
- 1 Heavy Dutch Oven or large oven-proof Stockpot  with a cover
- 1 Cutting Board
- Utensils (Cooks Knife, Measuring Cups & Spoons, Tongs, Wooden Spoon)
- 8 Chicken Thighs, skins on
- 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free Orzo pasta
- 3 cups low sodium Chicken Broth, or Stock
- 1 large Garlic clove, minced
- 1 small Lemon cut into eight wedges and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- ¾ cup Kalamata Olives pitted and cut in half
- 1 large Bay Leaf
- 3 tablespoons fresh Oregano, divided 
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the chicken, covering all sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven  or large, oven-proof stockpot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the chicken thighs on all sides for about five minutes. When browned, remove from the pan.8 Chicken Thighs,, 1 ½ teaspoons Salt, 1 teaspoon black Pepper
- Add the orzo to the pot, stir, letting it toast in the chicken fat until it begins to turn lightly golden in color. Once toasted, add the chicken broth, stirring to deglaze, and remove any browned or stuck-on bits from the pot. Immediately add the garlic, lemon wedges, lemon juice, olives, bay leaf, and half of the oregano, stirring lightly to combine. Lastly, return the chicken to the pot, arranging it in the orzo mixture to not crowd the chicken. Cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken meat is firm and chicken juices run clear.2 tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 ½ cups gluten-free Orzo pasta, 3 cups low sodium Chicken Broth,, 1 large Garlic clove,, 1 small Lemon, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed Lemon Juice, ¾ cup Kalamata Olives, 1 large Bay Leaf, 3 tablespoons fresh Oregano,
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary; sprinkle with the remaining oregano before serving.
To Ensure Your Recipe Success:
- Choose a heavy Dutch oven or large, oven-proof stockpot with enough surface area to prevent the chicken from being crowded when arranged in the orzo.
- You can easily substitute chicken legs if you don’t have chicken thighs.
- Toast the orzo in the chicken fat until golden brown.
- Use good-quality chicken broth; homemade chicken stock is even better!
- Deglaze the pot with the chicken broth before adding the remaining ingredients.
- Deseed the lemon.
- If you don’t have fresh oregano, substitute dried oregano. Use three teaspoons of dried oregano for each (one) tablespoon of fresh oregano called for in the recipe.
(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)
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