One-pan Chicken with Orzo & Pimentos
Baking chicken in a pan with pasta and vegetables is an easy and great way to make an all-in-one nourishing meal. The chicken stays juicy and tender and the orzo or risoni and vegetables, when cooked in the richly flavoured stock, become silky in texture.
1 large carrot, peeled
1 large leek, trimmed and washed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
600g Mahy Farms chicken thighs, patted dry with paper towels
Sal de Añana spring salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp La Chinata sweet smoked paprika
5 slices (approx. 60g) serrano ham or prosciutto
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
2 cups Foundation chicken stock
1 cup cold water
2/3 cup El Navarrico sliced pimientos
1 cup Rustichella orzo or Girolomoni risoni pasta
3 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 190°C. Cut the carrot in half lengthways and then slice on an angle. Slice the leek into 1cm thick rounds.
Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper and paprika. Wrap each thigh in a slice of ham and tie with kitchen string to secure. Heat oil in a large heavy-based casserole pan with a tight fitting lid. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a plate.
Add the carrots, leek, garlic, thyme and a little salt to the pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Stir in the stock, water, pimientos and orzo or risoni, scraping the base of the pan to release the sticky bits from the bottom; bring liquid to the boil. Nestle the chicken thighs into the pan and add any resting juices. Cover pan with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, stir in the parsley and add a splash more water, if needed, then return to bake for 10 minutes more – by this time the chicken and pasta will be cooked. Check and adjust seasoning of pasta to your liking. Remove string from chicken before serving.
Recipe by Julie Le Clerc