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  • Lydia Gerratt

Orzo pasta, chicken, chorizo, tomatoes, olives and peppers



THIS is the best meal to devour on a cold January weekend with the added benefits of; everything goes into one pan (less washing up!), chicken thighs (I’m trying to do more recipes with this delicious but cheap cut of meat), huge flavour from olives, peppers, tomatoes and chicken stock, plus pasta…..little tiny orzo (so much easier to get a lot onto one forkful).

The chicken thighs are first browned and then finished by cooking in the chicken stock. The poaching makes them incredibly soft – I hate chicken thighs when they are slightly hard going and stringy. The orzo pasta cooks in the stock and flavours from the other ingredients, so damn good.

All you need, at most, is a lettuce salad with a French dressing to serve with this dish and you’re done.

Miraculous ingredients: Red pepper, Santini baby plum tomatoes (M&S sells this variety), Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients chicken stock, Kalamata black olives, Unearthered Chorizo de Leon, orzo pasta

Orzo pasta, chicken, chorizo, tomatoes, olives and peppers

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil

500g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (about 6 thighs)

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red pepper, top and seeds removed and finely sliced

250g Santini baby plum tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

500ml chicken stock (Waitrose Cooks' Ingredients chicken stock is the best)

50g pitted Kalamata black olives

10cm piece of chorizo salami (Uneartherd Chorizo de Leon), skinned, thinly sliced – picante chorizo works well

250g orzo pasta

15g fresh basil leaves, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Method

Place a large deep dry frying pan on a medium high heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add the chicken to the pan and lightly brown for 5 minutes on both sides. Remove and rest on a warm plate.

In the same frying pan, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and fry the onion until soft, 3 minutes. Add the sliced peppers to the pan and fry for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the halved tomatoes, oregano and thyme to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. If the pan becomes too dry, add little water.

Add all the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add the orzo, chorizo slices, olives and ½ teaspoon of salt and stir well.

Place the chicken thighs into the stock/orzo mix in the pan and cook on low heat at a simmer for about 15 minutes until the orzo is cooked (add a little water if the pan becomes too dry). Shift the orzo with a wooden spatula a couple of times during the cooking as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the orzo is al dente (soft on the outside but firm to the bite in the middle), turn the heat off, stir through with the fresh chopped basil and serve.

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking 45 minutes, 2 adult portions, 2 child portions.

#Pasta #Chicken

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