This skillet chicken combines the sweetness of apples with the unique taste of fennel.
Seasoned chicken and orzo round out the dish in this simple yet elegant one pot meal.
This skillet chicken and orzo is going to be a regular rotation for our family. I grew up eating orzo and now my family is doing the same. When I was growing up, we called it Minestra. This was when orzo was started in chicken broth and then finished off in the oven along with chicken pieces. The orzo was tender, plump and absorbed all the flavor from the chicken it surrounded. This baked chicken and orzo recipe captured the essence of my favorie meal growing up.
This skillet chicken recipe is even simpler as it is cooked in one skillet on the stove top. You do need a deep skillet, however. I would invest in one if you don’t have one already. They are fabulous for making one pot pasta recipes like this sausage pasta recipe or this one pot Alice Springs chicken recipe. I like to brown the chicken in my pan first, remove the chicken and then cook onions, garlic and fennel in the hot, chicken flavored oil. Why not use up all the yummy flavor already in the pan? I then add the uncooked orzo to the onion mixture. It brings out a nutty flavor to the orzo and makes the taste deeper and richer. I add apples towards the end of the cook time. You want them soft, but not mealy. I kept the skins on my apples, but you may not like the look or the taste, so peel them if your prefer. While I used Granny Smith for their tartness, you can use whatever apples you have in your fridge.
A word on fennel, it is a distinct, unique flavor. It is almost sweet, yet that licorice taste lingers in th back ground. It may not be for everyone. You could omit this or try a leek (although that is more like an onion). Celery would be a nice choice as well, it is a bulb like fennel, but with a much milder flavor.
Skillet Chicken and Orzo with Apples and Fennel
This skillet chicken and orzo features tender apples and fennel in a simple yet elegant one pot meal!
- 2 lbs chicken, cubed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1 lb orzo
- 1 32 oz container chicken broth
- 2 granny smith apples, sliced
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add cubed chicken and cook chicken until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set side.
Add onions and fennel to the same skillet. Cook vegetables until they are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic. Add cider vinegar and cook until vinegar reduces. Season mixture with salt, thyme, and oregano.
Add dried pasta to onion mixture and cook for 1 minute or until pasta is fragrant. Pour in chicken broth; stir. Cover and cook pasta on medium to medium low heat for 7 minutes. Add sliced apples, cover and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes or until pasta is al dente and apples are soft. Stir in chicken. Serve.
To prepare fennel, cut off the stems and discard. Cut the white bulb in half. Remove the triangular core from each half; discard. Proceed to slice fennel into bite-sized pieces.