Ina Garten’s Chicken in a Pot with Orzo

If you follow my blog, you will know that I am a fan of Ina Garten.  And it’s pretty simple why; Ina’s recipes are made with readily available fresh ingredients, easy to follow, and most important flavorful, tasting fantastic. I become frustrated when I want to make a dish from a recipe, and I can’t locate the ingredients, even at a market like Whole Foods. I don’t want to waste time searching or have to order online. 

Let’s talk about simplicity in following the recipe. Ina’s recipes are clear and concise. You do not have to be an experienced cook for the recipes to be perfect. What a confidence booster for a novice cook or an inducement for a non-cook to begin the journey.

Here are a few takeaways from this fabulous recipe. Searing the chicken makes the skin crips and golden since you are cooking it in a liquid. And I adore herb bundles; they add so much flavor. One thing I changed when I made this recipe was the quantity of salt; I cut the added salt into two teaspoons. I do not think that changes the taste. Besides that, I made it precisely as Ina. And it was a delicious meal. The chicken was moist and flavorful.

If you are planning on cooking often, I do recommend a heavy Dutch oven.

Le Creuset is the gold standard in Dutch over=n, yet very expensive. My family gives me gift cards for William-Sonoma, so I splurge on Le Creuset cookware. You can find many excellent Dutch ovens for a more affordable price. Shop around. I love Home Goods for kitchen products at reasonable prices.  

I love for you to share photos in the comment section if you make this recipe!

Good olive oil

1 (3½ to 4-pound) whole chicken

2 cups (¾-inch diced) scrubbed carrots (10 ounces)

2 cups (¾-inch) diced celery (4 ribs)

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)

2 cups chopped fennel, stalks, and core removed (1 large bulb)

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

4 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade

½ teaspoon saffron threads

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

8 sprigs of fresh parsley

10 sprigs fresh dill, plus extra for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup orzo

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium (11-inch) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium-high heat. Dry the chicken all over, place it in the pot breast side down, and sear it for 5 to 7 minutes without moving until the skin is nicely browned. Turn the chicken breast side up and sear for another 4 to 5 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the carrots, celery, leeks, and fennel to the pot and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Return the chicken to the pot, breast side up, spreading the vegetables around the chicken. Add the chicken stock, saffron, and enough water to cover the chicken with just an inch of the breastbone exposed. Tie the thyme, parsley, and dill together in a bundle with kitchen string and add to the pot along with 1½ tablespoons salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, ensuring the liquid is simmering.

Discard the herb bundle, stir the orzo into the broth, cover, and allow to sit off the heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the orzo is tender. Using forks to separate the chicken into quarters, carefully pull the breast meat away from the bones (I leave the bones in the leg portion) and reheat, if necessary. Spoon some of the chicken, broth, and pasta into large shallow bowls, and serve hot, sprinkled generously with minced dill and salt.



One comment

  1. This looks really tasty!
    Ina’s recipes are usually quite approachable, and well presented. When I watch her show, I do grimace at how much salt she adds, but otherwise, they all seem to be something a range of skills could handle. And she always has such a good time!


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