- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 4 medium chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs (see note)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 lb. orzo
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen both work well)
- 2 cups shredded havarti (see note)
- Fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Season chicken.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear chicken until lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the pan and lower the heat to medium.
- Add in remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, once hot add in onions, garlic and cook until starting to soften, stirring often. As the onions cook and it renders some liquid, begin to scrap up any browned bits from the chicken off the pot.
- Add in the butter. Once melted add the dijon and orzo. Cook for 3 minutes until the orzo smells toasty.
- Slowly stir in the chicken stock and salt, scrapping up any remaining brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add in the broccoli and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Once boiling, shut off the heat. Stir in half the cheese. Return the chicken to the skillet, nestling it among the orzo. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165ºF and the pasta is cooked through.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken up during this time period. Serve warm with fresh dill. Shred or slice the chicken and serve alongside the cheesy orzo.
This dish can be made with chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Over time our family decided we prefer it with chicken thighs, but it’s truly a matter of preference. It is more important to pay attention to the temperature of the chicken breasts when it’s baking than chicken thighs.
Don’t like havarti? Switch it out with cheddar! Both work equally well in this dish.
Keywords: Chicken and Orzo Bake