This is a recipe taken from Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat. It’s such an easy recipe, as it really looks after itself, but honestly, the flavour of the plumped out orzo, after it’s absorbed all the chicken juices is just so delicious – you’ve got to try it. It’s an all-round crowd-pleaser, perfect family food.
Lockdown Kitchen Traffic
So like most people, I’m just trying to get through each week with as little fuss as possible. The UK’s current lockdown situation means that my oldest son is home on furlough, my daughter is homeschooling and my husband is home working as am I. The kitchen is a ‘high traffic’ area all day, so I’m always trying to find recipes that tick all the boxes for everyone and therefore limit the kitchen traffic. It’s not an easy task. This lovely chicken recipe works for everyone and you can adjust the flavour content according to taste. Nigella’s original recipe includes chilli, but son and daughter don’t care for it much – yet, so I omit it. I add lots of garlic and lemon instead.
Whilst I’m writing and admittedly completely off track, I’m sharing with you my new found love of a good podcast. With endless walks with the dogs, I’ve been plugging in the headphones and pounding the streets listening to lots of fab podcasts. This week, I’ve discovered Louis Theroux’s Grounded series of podcasts. It’s so engrossing. I can’t stop listening, even listening to people that I’ve not heard of (Troy Deaney of Watford). For anyone out there who is feeling fed up, I would definitely recommend trying it out. It really helps you switch off too, which at a time of high kitchen traffic, is much needed.
Ok, so here’s the recipe. Hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to drop me a comment or two.
- 1 whole chicken, approx. 1.5kg/3lb 5oz
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 3 fat garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tsp dried tarragon (or dried thyme)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into batons
- 2 medium leeks, cut into 2cm/¾in rounds
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes (or 1 tsp fine sea salt)
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 300g/10½oz orzo pasta
- 6 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
- freshly grated Parmesan, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
- In a large casserole dish, heat up the olive oil and breast side down, brown the chicken for 5 mins or so
- Add into the oil the lemon, garlic and tarragon (or thyme depending on your preference).
- Add all the vegetables around the chicken
- Add salt and the chilli if using and also the juice of the lemon
- Pour in the water and bring to boil
- Once boiling, put on the lid and place inthe oven for 1 hour and 15 mins
- Take out of the oven and add the orzo
- Put lid back on and return to the oven for another 15 mins
- Take out of the oven and let it stand for 10 to 15 mins. All the orzo should have soaked up all the juices and the vegetables should be nice and soft.
- Sprinkle over the parsley
- The chicken will be so tender it will fall off the bone. Serve with large spoonfuls of the orzo and veg.