Tasty Greek Chicken Thighs with Orzo and a Salad

January 18, 2021

The flavors of Greece can make your weeknight meals shine, especially when you incorporate authentic Greek products and ingredients. Not only will the food taste great, but buying Greek products also helps the economy of the homeland. Try the following chicken dish for a tasty weeknight meal. The leftovers are even tastier when reheated the next day. And remember to pair with your favorite Greek wine to make even a weeknight meal just a bit more special.

Greek Chicken Thighs with Orzo

3 teaspoons Greek dried oregano

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs. chicken thighs

1 fresh lemon

3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 large red onion, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes

2 cups water

2 cups uncooked orzo pasta, Misko brand works well

1/2 cup crumbled feta, Dodonis, for topping (optional)

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the oregano, 1 teaspoon of the paprika, and the salt and pepper. Rinse the chicken thighs in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a nonreactive bowl and toss with the mixed seasonings and the juice of the lemon to completely coat the chicken thighs. Set aside for 20 minutes in the refrigerator while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven until the oil shimmers. Add the chicken thighs skin-side down and brown on both sides. You may have to work in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Place the seared chicken thighs on a plate and set aside.

Add the onion and peppers to the same pot and sauté about 5 minutes to soften. Add the tomatoes, water, the remaining oregano and paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and add the orzo, giving it a stir, and then return the seared chicken thighs to the pot and place in the preheated oven.

Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, then remove the pot from the oven, cover and let stand for about 5 minutes, so any excess liquid will be absorbed by the orzo.

Top with a drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil, some crumbled feta, and chopped fresh parsley, if preferred.

Serve with a salad of your choice, or the simple kale salad which follows.

Kale Salad

1 bunch fresh kale

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Greek sea salt

Greek extra virgin olive oil

Remove the tough stems of the kale, then rinse thoroughly in cool water. Dry the kale in a salad spinner, or use a kitchen or paper towel to pat dry. Slice the kale thinly with a sharp knife or chop roughly as preferred. Toss in a salad bowl with a sprinkle of sea salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste, and a drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil to coat the kale thoroughly. Serve immediately.


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