Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Lemony Orzo


Garlic and rosemary marinated chicken in lemony orzo is a pasta dish an Italian flair. This family friendly, one-skillet meal could be on the dinner table in less than one hour (including marinating time).

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We have been on a boneless, skinless chicken thigh kick lately in my household. There were some in the refrigerator that needed to be used, and I wanted to do something new. It so happens that I have a fresh rosemary plant which inspired me to take the Italian route. It was how this hearty, filling, and tasty pasta dish came to life. 

Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Lemony Orzo

At this point, allow me to let you in on a little person triumph...I have been able to nurture and maintain a rosemary plant that I have had since last summer! I realize that having fresh herbal plants in the house in the winter may not be a big deal to many, but for me, it is almost close to accomplishing the impossible. Many attempts have been made over the years to grow plants on my kitchen window sill during winter, and all have proven to be disastrous. I am notorious for killing plants. I have said it before and I will say it again, I can kill plants just by looking at them. So, to have successfully kept a rosemary plant alive thus far has been a mini horticultural milestone for me. Yeah!

My mother and one of my sisters, on the other hand, are great gardeners. Mom lives in Arizona...or as I call it, the desert. Her yard is always full of vegetation—fruit trees, flowers, and a vegetable garden. She is truly a plant whisperer. She can bring life into them and bring them back from the brink of death. Mom can stick a mango seed in dirt and grow herself a mango tree. I on the other hand, can stick a mango seed in dirt and get....well...a dirty mango seed!

Thank you for following humoring me! Back to the chicken and orzo...

Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Lemony Orzo
Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Lemony Orzo

When I want a filling, delicious dinner within 60 minutes, this chicken and orzo dish is an excellent option. Plus, it is a one-skillet dinner...easy peasy cleanup! I first marinate the chicken in a garlic, lemon, and rosemary dressing. The chicken is then pan-seared and par-cooked. It is added back to the skillet towards the end of the cooking time. After searing and removing the chicken, orzo is cooked in the same skillet in chicken broth. Seasoning, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and kale are then added. I use frozen kale but fresh is great if you happen to have some.

As you may be thinking, this dish is versatile. Orzo can be swapped out with another pasta. Be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Same goes with the kale—use asparagus, broccoli, green beans,  spinach, or frozen vegetables instead.  This pasta dish is truly a family friendly meal that is sure to be a hit.

Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Lemony Orzo

Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Lemony Orzo



1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary 
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1/4 + 1 tbsp. cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lemon 
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 (14.5 oz.) can + 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric 
1 rounded cup frozen chopped kale
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Grate lemon. Set aside the grated lemon rind. Cut and squeeze juice of 1/2  a lemon into a large zip lock bag. Add rosemary, 1 tablespoon garlic, seasoned salt, black pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Zip bag and massage ingredients to blend. Add chicken thigh. Zip bag and thoroughly work marinade into chicken. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Remove chicken from marinade. Working in 2 batches brown chicken thighs, about  2 to 3 minutes on either side. Remove from pan and set aside. The chicken will finish cooking towards the end.

Scrape off any dark brown bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet and discard. Pour out excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet. Place skillet back on medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for two minutes, stirring frequently. Add orzo. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium high. Add chicken broth, turmeric, salt, and kale. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Stir well. Place chicken thighs back into skillet. Bring back to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover loosely and cook for 10 minutes or until orzo is al dente. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon said...

This looks very tasty. :) I love a comforting and easy one-pot meal! This is just the sort of recipe I'll put together on weeknight for the family.

Adina said...

Funny post! And I get it with the plants on the window sill, I only keep the basil there but I have to replace it every couple of months, it never lasts longer. The chicken looks delicious, we love chicken thighs around here, so I am pinning this for later. :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you Annemarie. I agree: one pot meal puts a quick, comforting, and filling meal on the dinner table for the family. It is a life saver. Thank you for stopping by!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

So your basil dies on you...thanks for making me feel not so inept at keeping plants alive! :) Thanks for the pin too!!

Kathleen K said...

I had to laugh at your gardening abilities. I seriously have killed a cactus and even bamboo! How in the world does anyone kill bamboo!? I do. That's who ;)
I wish I were a gardner, there are so many things I would love to have at my fingertips. So kudos to you on keeping your rosemary alive! This dish looks incredibly delicious and so comforting. Pinning and drooling!

Kelly said...

Haha my mom is the same way, she can grow anything if it had seeds. I on the other hand inherited a black thumb instead & have killed so many plants including rosemary ;) This meal looks so comforting and delicious Thao! Love the rosemary lemon combo!

No Spoon Necessary said...

Oh my gawsh, I do NOT have a green thumb, so you keeping a herb plant alive for so long is nothing short of AMAZING! I am jealous! I accidentally kill everything green. womp womp. Anyways, LOVING this one skillet meal! Garlic, rosemary and lemon is a fabulous combination! We must be cut from the same cloth, because I have been on a boneless skinless chicken thigh kick too, so you KNOW I HAVE to make this dish! This looks fabulously delicious and perfectly comforting, without being too heavy. LOVE IT! Cheers, my dear! <3

Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen said...

What a delicious weeknight meal! The turmeric gives it such a fabulous color and I love the scent and flavor of rosemary.

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

I'm sorry—it looks like you have the same effect on vegetation as I do. I too have killed cactus and bamboo! We are lethal!! I'm so happy I made you drool.Thanks for the pin, Kathleen!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

I'm glad to hear we have something in common, Kelly (haha)! At least we have other talents that make up for our gardening shortcoming! :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Sorry that you don't have luck with plants either, Chey, but I'm glad I'm not alone! If we are cut from the same cloth, then I'm ecstatic because you rock girlfriend! :) I'm glad that this gets your solid thumbs-up. Boneless skinless chicken thigh is the way to go lately...I hope we don't get tired of it!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thanks, Christin. I try to use turmeric when I can because it is so good for you. Have a great week! :)

Liz Berg said...

My hubby frequently asks for chicken and rice for dinner---and I just wing it! This looks like it would be a huge hit at our house! And better than my hit or miss attempts :)

Tasty Ever After said...

This looks fabulous!! Your pics make me want to eat the whole pan! I love one pot meals so much, especially when there's chicken. Absolutely beautiful!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

So glad that this dish would go over well at your house, Liz! I'm sure you've got some pretty tasty chicken and rice (and pasta) recipes up your sleeve! ;)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you for the love, Karrie! Your kind words are going make me too big for my britches! :)

amanda@craftycookingmama said...

Looks wonderful, Thao! Everything about that flavor combo is delicious! I love one pot meals - less dishes to deal with is always a win :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Amanda. One pot meals are the next best thing to takeout when it comes to ease.

Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks said...

Gardening is hard and totally takes dedication! Congrats on your rosemary! This one pot chicken is the bomb! Less dishes always works for me!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thanks, Rachelle. My little rosemary is shedding slightly but she still holding up pretty well. :)

Paula@SweetPea said...

This looks wonderful, Thao. I'm sharing on my FB page today!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you so much for the share, Paula!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

What a great one dish meal! I have a frozen turkey that I plan to carve up into parts. May need to try this with turkey thigh!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Turkey sounds great, Inger! Can I come over for dinner when you make it? :)

Carrie R. McNair said...

Excellent info here, I am currently doing some research and found exactly what I was looking for.

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