Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo Bake
I was inspired by a recipe I saw for lemon and chicken baked with orzo on Everybody Likes Sandwiches that looked simple and delicious. I decided to add artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, tomatoes, and feta to make this dish extra special. It was fun & easy to make, smelled terrific while it baked, and tasted wonderful. My husband, my son, and I really loved it while my daughter said it was okay. Oh well – I can’t please everyone all of the time.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the chicken thighs with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add the chicken to the Dutch oven once it is HOT. Cook one side of the thigh for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the chicken thighs from the Dutch oven and place onto a plate. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and orzo to the Dutch oven then cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the chicken broth. Place the chicken thighs and juices back into the Dutch oven along with the artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, and kalamta olives. Sprinkle half of the fresh parsley on top.
Cover with a lid and place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the orzo has soaked up most of the liquid and the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and remaining parsley then serve. Enjoy.