Close-up of Chicken in a Pot with Orzo, as seen on Be My Guest with Ina Garten, season 3.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Chicken In A Pot With Orzo

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
I’ve been testing recipes for chicken in a pot for years but they all come out tasting like chicken soup. In her cookbook Cook, Eat, Repeat, Nigella Lawson inspired me by browning the chicken first, which adds lots of flavor, and then adding orzo to thicken the soup.



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium (11-inch) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium to medium-high heat. Dry the chicken all over, place it in the pot breast side down, and sear for 5 to 7 minutes, until the skin is nicely browned. Turn the chicken over and sear for another 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, leeks, and fennel to the pot and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are a little tender. 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 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is simmering.
  4. Discard the herb bundle, stir the orzo into the broth, cover, and allow to sit for 20 to 25 minutes, until the orzo is tender. Reheat on the stove, if necessary. Pull the chicken apart in quarters with forks (I leave the bones in the leg portion and carefully pull the breast meat away from the bones) and serve the chicken, soup, and pasta together in large shallow bowls. Sprinkle generously with minced parsley, minced dill, and salt.

Cook’s Note

Soak the diced leeks in water to remove any dirt.