This skillet chicken with lemon, orzo, and capers is a great weeknight dinner. It’s so quick to make - it takes me under an hour. Sometimes all you need is a meal with minimal chopping. The ingredient processing in this recipe is very simple: slicing a shallot, and zesting and juicing a lemon.
Chicken piccata is my main inspiration for this dish (although this is not chicken piccata because an authentic piccata must be pounded flat). Instead of using chicken cutlets, I opted for bone-in chicken thighs baked on top of the orzo and sauce. I love how the chicken schmaltz melts into the sauce. The velvety sauce complements the bright flavors of the white wine, lemon, and capers.
I think this meal is excellent, and I’m thrilled to share it with you all.
- 6 bone-in chicken thighs, 2.5 pounds
- ½ pound orzo
- 1 large shallot, finely sliced
- ¼ cup capers, drained and rinsed
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Kosher salt & ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken (in batches if necessary) in the preheated skillet - about 4 minutes per side. Set the brown thighs aside on a large clean plate.
Add the sliced shallot and an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Sauté the shallots until soft and brown. Melt all of the unsalted butter and then stir in the orzo - cook for several minutes. Next, pour in the chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice, and capers. Stir everything together, check seasonings, and arrange the chicken thighs on top of the orzo. Sprinkle the lemon zest on top of the chicken thighs. Bring the contents of the skillet to a boil, and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken thighs are cooked through and the orzo has absorbed most of the liquid. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.