Seared Chicken Thighs with Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Seared Chicken Thighs

with Mediterranean Orzo Salad

30 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In the summer, nothing quite beats Mediterranean fare. After all, the region is famous for its gorgeous, warm weather—and equally vibrant dishes. In this recipe, as a side for crispy chicken thighs, we’re serving up a Mediterranean salad featuring orzo (a rice-shaped pasta). It’s full of seasonal produce (like zucchinis and cherry tomatoes), briny Kalamata olives and crumbly feta cheese—all dressed with a tangy, light vinaigrette.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Seared Chicken Thighs with Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Title
  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • ¾ lb Orzo Pasta
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb Zucchinis
  • ½ lb Spinach
  • ½ lb Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch Parsley
  • 2 oz Kalamata Olives
  • 2 Tbsps Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Mediterranean Chicken Spice Blend (Ground Fennel Seeds, Ground Coriander, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder & Ground Sweet Paprika)
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the orzo:
1 Cook the orzo:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the orzo. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and rinse under warm water to prevent sticking. Return to the pot.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the orzo cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Roughly chop the spinach. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the zucchinis; medium dice the zucchinis. Halve the tomatoes. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits. Roughly chop the olives.

Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and the spice blend. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.

Cook the vegetables:
4 Cook the vegetables:

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the zucchinis and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the pot of cooked orzo.

Make the dressing:
5 Make the dressing:

While the vegetables cook, in a small bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined.

Finish & serve your dish:
6 Finish & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked orzo and vegetables, add the olives, feta cheese, half the parsley and enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing); stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut 2 pieces of the cooked chicken in half. Divide the finished orzo salad and chicken between 4 dishes. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the orzo:
1 Cook the orzo:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the orzo. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and rinse under warm water to prevent sticking. Return to the pot.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the orzo cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Roughly chop the spinach. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the zucchinis; medium dice the zucchinis. Halve the tomatoes. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits. Roughly chop the olives.

Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and the spice blend. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan.

4 Cook the vegetables:

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the zucchinis and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the pot of cooked orzo.

Cook the vegetables:
Make the dressing:
5 Make the dressing:

While the vegetables cook, in a small bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined.

6 Finish & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked orzo and vegetables, add the olives, feta cheese, half the parsley and enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing); stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut 2 pieces of the cooked chicken in half. Divide the finished orzo salad and chicken between 4 dishes. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Finish & serve your dish:
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