Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo

If this recipe looks at all familiar, it’s because I have posted it on my blog once before nearly a year ago.  I finally decided to take down the old post and create a whole new one for this recipe for a couple of reasons. I make this meal often and have changed the way I prepare it a bit, so I have reflected those changes in this updated version to make this recipe more clearly written and with a better final product.  Also, the old picture was simply terrible (as many of my old photos are) and since this is truly a favorite meal, I thought it deserved a more appealing shot.

So, why do I love this dish so much?  Because it’s delicious, it’s an easy one pan meal (well, plus a pan to cook the pasta), and did I mention it’s delicious?  I mean, what’s not to love about a dish that has pasta, veggies, chicken and cheese all in one place?  Sign me up!  Herbes de Provence is a wonderful spice blend to have in your pantry, but if you don’t happen to have it and don’t want to buy it, you can easily create your own with other spices you are likely to have on hand.  Just do a Google search and you’ll find some estimates of what to mix together as a suitable sub.  I’ve done this many times, and it always works out just fine.  Enjoy!

Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy Orzo
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8 oz. orzo pasta, uncooked
2 chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 pieces total)
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 cups broccoli florets
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil.  Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.

Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle evenly with the Herbes de Provence.  Heat the olive oil in a 12- or 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken breast halves to the pan and cook about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute, until fragrant.  Add the diced tomatoes with juices and the broccoli florets to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer over medium-low.  Cover and let cook until the broccoli florets are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.  Mix until well blended and the cheese has melted.   If necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water to smooth out the sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Smells Like Home, who adapted it from Food Network

30 Responses

  1. The creamy orzo is what drew me in to this recipe. When I was at Pike’s Market I bought some Autumn Orzo which includes pumpkin & chestnut..can’t wait to try it!!!

  2. This looks great! I e-mailed it to my husband right away. Just one question: do you remove the chicken from the pan after cooking on both sides, or do you add everything around it?

    • RA,
      I leave the chicken in the pan and simply cook the other things around it. I think it adds more flavor to the chicken that way. I’m sure it would be fine to remove it though, just as long as it is completely cooked through first.
      🙂 Annie

  3. mmmm…. this looks like a great Fall dinner idea! thanks for sharing

  4. I think I’ll give this one a try. It looks very comforting.

  5. This looks fantastic! I’m all about simple, delicious, one-pan dinners. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Delicious! This orzo recipe is almost identical to one I make from one of Giada’s cookbooks. The only difference, I think, is that her recipe calls for peas instead of broccoli, but I’d love it with the broccoli. And, I’ve never added the Herbes de Provence. I need to get some of that for my pantry.

  7. This sounds fabulous & I have all of those items on hand! Making this very soon!!

  8. This really looks like a great one-dish dinner. I look forward to trying it and thank you for updating this recipe, I am sure it was good before but change never hurts!

  9. It looks great! I love the orzo. It’s a great change from the normal side of potatoes or rice. Delicious 🙂

  10. mmm that looks delicious! i’ll have to try it!

  11. Made this for dinner last night, and both my kids devoured it without a single complaint. That makes the dinner a HUGE success. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  12. I just finished eating this- OMG it was delicious! I immediately bookmarked as soon as I saw this recipe, and when my boyfriend defrosted some chicken breasts this week, I knew I had to make this recipe right away. We loved it! A definite repeat!

  13. I made this last night and it was DELISH! This will definately be in my “go to” reciepe file when I want something quick, easy, and delish to make on weeknights. Thanks Annie for another great one!

  14. Hey Annie,

    Another beautiful, easy recipe from you! I’m certainly glad you revisited this recipe. I’ve had orzo sitting around in my pantry for a long time and it was nice to use some of it up. I made this for dinner the other night and tweaked a few things–right after I sauteed the shallots and garlic I added about half a cup of vodka and let that evaporate a little before adding the tomatoes and cream. The sauce turned out amazing!

  15. yummm, again a very good easy recipe. works great with the boneless frozen chicken thighs from costco too.

  16. what a delicious, easy recipe! my husband and i thoroughly enjoyed it. thanks! 🙂

  17. I made this last night and I can see why you make it often. It was very easy and tasty, and there is alot of room to improvise and be creative. This will make my weekly menu now thanks to its versatility. Thanks Annie!

  18. This was delicious! (I realize my comment is very late. I had this starred in my Google Reader and just had a chance to make it.) My husband really liked it too. I used way too much orzo (I had more chicken so I thought oh, ok, I can add more orzo too. Too bad I didn’t have more of all the sauce ingredients though!) but it still turned out amazing!! Thanks!

  19. I made this recipe a couple of nights ago. It looked so beautiful but, mine did not have any flavor. What did I do wrong. I followed the recipe exactly. The seasoning that I bought did not have lavender in it. Was that the problem? The seasoning was Herb De Provence.

    • Shannon,
      It’s impossible to say what went wrong since I wasn’t there to observe. I’ve heard from so many other readers that have loved this dish and said it was wonderful and made it countless times myself, so I don’t think the recipe is bad. I doubt the lack of lavender would be the problem, as I made it many times without real Herbs de Provence and simply made my own mix with what I had on hand at the time.

      • Maybe I got too much pasta water in the dish. Or maybe I added too much Orzo then it soaked up the flavor.
        I am not giving up in this recipe and do not think it is bad. You mentioned that you have made different variations. Have you ever added fresh herbs or wine? I do not mean to be rude, and say that I did not like your recipe. In all the reviews everyone loved it. I was so excited to try the recipe then was a little disappointed. I am going to make it again. If you have any additonal or variations on ingredient let me know.
        Thank you,

      • Hi Shannon,
        I’ve never tried it with fresh herbs or wine, but I’m sure those would be great. Maybe more garlic? I usually reserve some pasta water, but I actually think I almost never add any so that could be contributing. I have written the version that is posted as the way I pretty much always make it now so I don’t have a lot of ideas on changes to make. I adapted from the original recipe to include the juices of the tomatoes because I thought that helped add more flavor. Good luck!

  20. […] chicken with creamy orzo I initially saw a version of this first recipe at Annie’s Eats, and JG made it for dinner soon afterward with delicious results. However, I wondered if I could […]

  21. Hi, Annie! I just posted an adaptation to this recipe that lets the orzo cook with everything else, so it only requires one pan. Thanks for the inspiration!

  22. YUM!! Just made this for dinner, it is going in out rotation. Delish, thanks for sharing this easy 2 pot dinner, love it!

  23. This was fantastic–we made it the other night. I did remove the chicken after cooking it. I think I might cut it in smaller pieces next time and then add it back after sauteeing the onions, garlic and adding the tomatoes and broccoli. I’ve loved everything I’ve made from your blog–keep up the good work 🙂

  24. Annie – I just made this for dinner! It was super yummy! I love it, a for sure go to again.

  25. Great meal! Just made it for dinner and my husband couldn’t stop eating it!

  26. I was just popping on to check an ingredient in the recipe and decided I should probably comment since I make this all the time. It is so quick, easy, and delicious — and it gets my 2-year-old to eat chicken that isn’t fried, broccoli, AND tomatoes. Thank you for sharing yet another wonderful recipe!

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