Chicken and Orzo

Greek

Chicken and Orzo with Tomatoes (Kotopoulo Youvesti)

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Prep

20 minutes

Cook

1 hour

Yield

4 -6

This chicken and orzo recipe is called kotopoula youvesti in Greek. It's so rich, warming and flavorful.

This kotopoulo youvesti recipe is a delicious Greek chicken and orzo dish with tomatoes. It’s flavorful and rich, with warming flavors of cinnamon, and it’s the perfect dish for the colder winter months for the whole family.

❤️ Why You’ll Love Chicken and Orzo

  • Comfort Food: This chicken and orzo recipe is so comforting, it’ll warm you up from the inside out
  • Quick Prep: Prep this recipe in only 20 minutes
  • Crowd-Pleasing: Make this recipe for a dinner party or your family. It’ll for sure impress them, plus, it’s easy!
Chicken and orzo with a spoon in the dish

🍲 Ingredients

Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs provide a lean source of protein and I love using bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe because it brings a lot of flavor to the dish. Plus chick thighs can cook a little longer without getting too tough like a breast would. Leaving an optimal amount of time for it to soak up the flavors.

Spices: You’ll notice some unique spices in this chicken and orzo recipe like cloves, cinnamon, and all-spice. These winter spices are perfect to add a unique twist to the dish and create a warming, aromatic meal that is so damn good.

I’m Your Mommy Now

Your Greek mommy that is. 😍 Step into my kitchen to learn how to make yummy Greek food. 🍽️💃

👩‍🍳 How to Make Chicken and Orzo

  1. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or braiser with a lid, heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown each side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate or bowl, set aside.
  4. Turn the pan to medium heat, add the diced onion, minced garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, salt and pepper, cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the onion, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the tomato paste, cook down for 3 minutes, stir occasionally.
  6. Add red wine and cook 3-4 minutes to reduce slightly. Then add 3/4 cup water and passata and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, add the chicken and their juices back, nestling into the sauce. Put the lid on and turn the heat to medium-low to keep at a simmer for 30 minutes. While simmering, preheat the oven to 350F.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken to a new bowl or plate.
  8. To the pot stir in 2 cups water and 1 cup orzo and bring to a simmer
  9. Once simmering, nestle chicken back in to the pot with the orzo and sauce and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. Add a bit more hot water to the orzo if needed when cooking.
  10. Serve topped with minced fresh oregano, parmesan cheese, or feta cheese.
Close up of chicken and orzo

🪄 Tips and Tricks

  • You can sub orzo for rice but note the difference in cooking time on the packages
  • You can use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer, chicken breasts will work but I don’t find they get as juicy and flavorful. Chicken drums can also be a great option
  • If you want to add in some veggies to this dish, hearty ones that don’t get too soft when cooking like carrots or potatoes can be great additions


🗒 Best served with

👝 How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. I don’t find this recipe freezes well.

🤔 Common Questions

What is the liquid-to-orzo ratio?

Generally, it is about 1/2 cup water/broth to 1 cup of orzo.

Are chicken thighs easier to cook than chicken breast?

100% thighs are really hard to overcook so they do well when you are cooking a dish that would benefit from cooking longer.

What is passata?

It is puréed, strained uncooked tomatoes with nothing else! You can use a tomato puree if you can’t find passata.

Chicken and Orzo with Tomatoes (Kotopoulo Youvesti)

5 from 5 votes
This chicken and orzo recipe is called kotopoula youvesti in Greek. It's so rich, warming and flavorful.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4 -6
Calories 483 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs (use 6-8 depending on how many fit into your pot)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground all-spice
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups passata (we love using Mutti passata)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup orzo
  • fresh oregano for garnish
  • serve with parmesan cheese or feta cheese if desired

Instructions
 

  • Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or braiser with a lid, heat over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown each side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate or bowl, set aside.
  • Turn the pan to medium heat, add the diced onion, minced garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, all spice, salt and pepper, cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the onion, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the tomato paste, cook down for 3 minutes, stir occasionally.
  • Add red wine and cook 3-4 minutes to reduce slightly. Then add 3/4 cup water and passata and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once simmering, add the chicken and their juices back, nestling into the sauce. Put the lid on and turn the heat to medium-low to keep at a simmer for 30 minutes. While simmering, preheat the oven to 350F.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the chicken to a new bowl or plate.
  • To the pot stir in 2 cups water and 1 cup orzo and bring to a simmer
  • Once simmering, nestle chicken back in to the pot with the orzo and sauce and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. Add a bit more hot water to the orzo if needed when cooking.
  • Serve with topped with minced fresh oregano, parmesan cheese or feta cheese.

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 65.2g | Fat: 12.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 198.6mg | Sodium: 766.9mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 5.8g
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!
E Gilliland

5 stars
We hosted a Greek Night and it was SO much fun!! We had a few Greek wines but all recipes were from Food By Maria!
We started with the hot pepper feta dip (with veggies) then prepared the chicken orzo dish here with the Greek potato recipe (look it up!! Lemony goodness!) and the Blue Zone black eyed pea salad. I did not cut the cucumbers correctly, and I was reminded of this , but we did have Greek flags hung above the table and we played ABBA (don’t judge. If you know you know 😆). Highly recommend any and all recipes here ♥️

Maria Koutsogiannis

You are so sweett!!!!! This Greek night sounds so fun I wish I could have come round!!

Audrey Turcotte

5 stars
Its woooooo good. Nothing more to Say!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Audrey!

Kelsey

5 stars
This has become a staple meal in our house!! So easy, sooo delicious. The spices in it are just amazing. 🤌🏻

Maria Koutsogiannis

thank you so much hunnie!!

Stephanie

5 stars
Really easy to make but the people you make it for will think it is a complex dish because the flavours are really rich and robust. It is such a satisfying and comforting dish. I really loved it.

Maria Koutsogiannis

This makes me so happy, Stephanie!! Thank you!

Isabella Shelton

5 stars
So simple to make! Loved the bold, rich flavors of this dish and it tasted great!

Maria Koutsogiannis

This makes me so happy, thank you Isabella!

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