Tangy Chicken with Orzo Pilaf

Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

In the time it takes to prepare this hearty dish, you will have chicken on hand for later use. Orzo with carrots is a tasty change from the usual rice pilaf.


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 4 chicken leg quarters (about 3 pounds total)

  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 1 ½ pounds total)

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 large white onion, diced small

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • ¾ cup cider vinegar

  • 2 medium carrots, diced small

  • 1 ¼ cups orzo


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In batches, add chicken, skin side down, and cook until skin is golden and crisp, about 7 minutes. Flip chicken and cook 3 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate.

  2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot and reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cook until beginning to break down, about 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar and return chicken, skin side up, to pot; bring liquid to a boil. Transfer pot, uncovered, to oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add orzo, tossing to coat. Add 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and orzo is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; fluff pilaf with a fork.

  4. Reserve chicken breasts and half the pan sauce and refrigerate for later use. Serve chicken leg quarters with pilaf and remaining pan sauce.


Cook's Notes

Wrap up and refrigerate the extra chicken breasts and sauce you make tonight and use for a quick dinner later in the week.

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