I recently Pinned a tasty-looking recipe for One-Pot Greek Oregano Chicken and Orzo from Half Baked Harvest. Normally, Pins linger in Pinterest on one of our “recipes to try” boards (we have three: general recipes to try, chicken recipes to try, and fish recipes to try) because we have so many dishes we want to try that we have trouble getting to them in a timely manner.
But this recipe jumped out at us not only because we’re chicken fans but also because it includes tomatoes drizzled in garlic oil. We’re in the height of tomato season here and we’re on the lookout for things to do with them.
Knowing we wanted to make this dish, we picked up these beauties from Rambling Roots Farm at our Saturday farmers’ market.
I followed the recipe fairly closely, making only a couple of alterations as I went along.
The recipe has two basic steps: make a garlic oil for the tomatoes and cook the chicken and orzo.
The oil is pretty simple. You need:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
Of course, I used a little more garlic than is recommended because that is what I do.
You put the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes. I had never done anything like this before and was worried that simmering the oil for so long would eventually cause the garlic to burn, but it worked out fine. You drizzle some of the oil on the sliced heirlooms and halved cherry tomatoes and add some salt and pepper. Any additional oil can be kept up to a month in the refrigerator.
The chicken is also pretty simple, but this is the part when I made some minor alterations.
The suggested ingredients are:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bit size pieces
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, sliced
- 1 cup mixed kalamata or green olives
- 16 ounces orzo pasta
- 4-6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 1/2 cups of water
I used a mix of spicy Greek olives and fresh Greek feta from Di Bruno Bros.
I also used about a couple of ounces of white wine to deglaze the pan at one point and about 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Of course, I used a little more garlic than is recommended because that is what I do.
The steps are fairly simple and the dish comes together fairly quickly once everything is chopped and prepped.
You heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a dutch oven and, once it’s hot, add the chicken, garlic, balsamic, paprika and salt and pepper and stir until the chicken is well-coated, browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano (I forgot to do this at this step and added it at the very end, which didn’t seem to detract at all), cook for another minute and then remove the chicken and set aside.
Then add another tablespoon of oil to the dutch oven and add the peppers and a little salt and pepper. The pan was a bit browned from frying the chicken, so I decided to deglaze it with some white wine. I probably should have waited until the peppers started to caramelize, as suggested in the original recipe, since I lost the good sizzle I had going. But I think deglazing was a good idea since it loosened more flavor from the pan. Once the peppers begin to caramelize (3-4 minutes unless you deglaze at the wrong moment as I did, then it will take a little longer), add the orzo and another tablespoon of oil. Give it a good stir and then add the 2 1/2 cups of water. Cook until the water is absorbed and add more liquid if needed. I tested the orzo after the water was mostly absorbed and it was still a bit firm. Instead of adding more water, I added a 1/2 cup of chicken broth because flavor. You can keep adding liquid in small amounts until the orzo is as tender as you like.
You need to stir the orzo frequently because IT WILL STICK.
Once the orzo is cooked, stir in the chicken and the olives and let sit for about 3 minutes off the heat.
Plate the chicken and orzo with the tomatoes and oil on the side. Add as much feta cheese as makes you happy.