A hearty and satisfying orzo pilaf with chicken and chickpeas that’s great for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, pounded slightly to be even thickness
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate (substitute 1/2 cup dried cranberries)
- Grated Kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a large saute pan (that has a cover) over high heat. Sear the chicken breasts on each side until nicely browned (about 3 – 4 minutes each side). Remove chicken breasts to a platter and cover to keep warm.
- Heat remaining tbsp. of olive oil. Add onion to the pan and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaves, chickpeas, and chicken stock to pan.
- Bring the broth to a boil, add salt, pepper, and orzo. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer the pasta for about 20 – 25 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Cut the chicken into one inch cubes. Add the chicken back to the pan, stir in chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds (dried cranberries) and cover. Heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
- Remove the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves from the pan. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with grated cheese for serving.