A few months ago I made Dorie Greenspan’s Moroccan Spiced Chickpea and Noodle Soup, which hit all the marks. It was flavorful, it had chickpeas, lentils, pasta, heaps of spices and simmered all day on the stovetop. The only downside was the amount of time it took to simmer. I love a good all day cooking-fest, but for most of you, that’s not possible, and I completely understand. With that in mind I made a similar flavored dish. This One Pot Moroccan Chicken and Orzo is quick with easy cleanup. It’s just baked in the oven and left alone so you can go on with your life!
If you don’t have a dutch oven to make this, that’s okay! Here’s a few ideas. You could use a skillet to sear the chicken and sauté the onions and spices, and then when you’re supposed to bake it all, put it in a casserole dish and cover with a lid or cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Super easy! Or you can use a large cast iron skillet, and cover it with foil tightly when you bake it. There’s so many ways you could do this, so don’t let the dutch oven be a hurdle.
I love all the lovely Moroccan spices in this dish. I used a coffee grinder to crush the fennel and cumin seeds, but if you don’t have one, feel free to throw it in a mortar and pestle or even better, just put it in a sealed plastic bag and give it a few whacks with a rolling pin.
Check out the full recipe below!
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds (or 1½ tsp ground cumin)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1½ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1½ cups orzo
- ½ cup white wine
- 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
- 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the fennel and cumin seeds until just lightly crushed. Some whole seeds will remain. Alternately, you can put the spices in a plastic bag and give them a few whacks with a rolling pin on a flat surface. Add the crushed fennel and cumin along with the paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, kosher salt, a couple grinds of black pepper, and red pepper flakes to a small bowl and mix.
- Add your chicken to a large bowl and add half the spice mixture. Toss to coat.
- In a dutch oven or other large oven proof skillet, add your olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot and shimmering, add your chicken thighs, cooking on each side just until lightly browned. Remove from the pan to a plate and add onion and garlic to the skillet, cooking until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the remaining spice mixture and cook for one minute to let them open up. Add the orzo and toast in the skillet, stirring constantly for one minute. Add the white wine and let it cook down for one minute more.
- Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, lemon juice, and broth and stir. Add the chicken , nestling into the brothy mixture. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-20 more minutes until the orzo is tender and chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.