Comfort Food: Creamy Chicken Orzo

I think I like what I do with the leftover roast chicken the next day, better than the original meal itself.

I thought my chicken and leek pie was king, but this recipe is my new weeknight favorite.

I suggest you roast a chicken immediately, just so you can have leftover bird to make this dish!

By the way, every time I post my roast chicken on instagram, people ask for the recipe. I guess I never did a formal post on it here, so here it is again for a refresher:

 3.5 - 4 lb. bird (I like Bell & Evans the best)
Seasonello brand salt (a fabulous sea salt from Italy w/ rosemary & other stuff, all natural)
1 lemon, cut in half
bunch of fresh herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme) 

Preheat oven to 425F.

Lay the bird in a roasting pan (do NOT use glass).
Squeeze half the lemon all over the chicken.  Stuff the other half in the cavity, along with the bunch of fresh herbs.

Liberally sprinkle the seasoned sea salt over the chicken (you can also use Diamond Kosher salt).

Roast the chicken, undisturbed for 75 minutes exactly.  Do not baste it or bother or fuss with it.

Let the chicken rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Save some yummy bird for tomorrow night, so you can make this next recipe:

Creamy Chicken Orzo (adapted from The Modern Proper): 

 *(note: I cut the recipe in half using only 1 box of chicken broth and 8 oz. of orzo and it made plenty...).

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups of chicken broth
1 lb. small pasta 
2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
salt & pepper
flat leaf parsley

Start out like you are making soup.  In a large stockpot, saute the onion, celery and carrots in some olive oil for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent.

Add in the 8 cups of broth and bring to a boil.

Next step, add in the orzo and cooked chicken and season with salt & pepper.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring so the orzo doesn't stick to the pot.

After 20 minutes, the orzo will have absorbed all of the liquid, and you will have this wonderful creamy, risotto type of dish.

Garnish with fresh parsley and dive in.  

This one is a keeper.


Pam deB said…
OMG. The roasted chicken! I popped outside for a minute, picked all of the herbs stuck a half lemon under and roasted half a large breast for 60 mins. Toasted a slice of bread and dipped in pan drippings and unexpected perfection. Simple is always the rule. You always amaze. P de B
Stacey Snacks said…
Thank you!!! So glad you made the chicken!

Joan said…
Looks so good!!! In a pinch, can I just use an already cooked rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods ?
Stacey Snacks said…

Yes!! that would be fine!

I remember the first time someone suggested to me I cook orzo like rice instead of like pasta and it was game changing. I loved how it changed orzo into a different dish. Thanks for reminding me I haven’t made it in a while.
Katie C. said…
Well, I have to admit that I haven’t roasted a chicken in a looong time. I have become a fan of Costco’s rotisserie chickens. Here’s a tip if you want to get every last cluck from your bird. Throw the carcass in your slow cooker with a rough chopped carrot, celery, onion, pepper corns, thyme and bay leaf. Add water. Cook it several hours until you are happy with the stock. Some people even go 24 hours but I think that’s over kill. Anyway, strain it with a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. I like to defat mine using my gravy separator. Freeze or pressure can the stock. Oh, I forgot. Do not add salt! That comes later when you are using the stock for something.

Back to your post. A roast chicken will soon be purchased since I need to make a Costco run. This dish will definitely be made. I can almost taste it now. 😋
Carol Mince said…
Saturday night I cooked an overnight buttermilk brined chicken that I found in NYT Cooking, and since it’s just the two of us, I had plenty of leftover juicy white meat for this. My husband loved it. . He doesn’t often rave over dinner. ( I’m a good cook, he is just picky). Thanks.

On another note. You used to have a feature where I could print the recipe without the pictures. Can’t seem to do that any more.

Ive been a fan for years. Some of my all time favorite recipes are yours.
Katie C. said…
Made this last night. Yummy! It’s like chicken noodle “stoup.” It does make a lot so I shared some with a neighbor who just got home from work. She thought it was pretty fantastic too plus she didn’t have to cook 😄. Next time I want more carrots.
almos said…
Making this for dinner tonight. I only had a package of tricolored baby carrots so I chopped those up instead. So pretty!!
almos said…
Making this for dinner tonight. I only had a package of tricolored baby carrots so I chopped those up instead. So pretty!! Added a little lemon since my turkey didn’t have that flavor.