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5 from 1 vote

One-Skillet Crispy Chicken with Buttery Lemony Mushroom Orzo

This one-pan chicken wonder combines crispy-skinned chicken, baked directly on top of buttery, lemony orzo, studded with wild mushrooms, leeks and baby spinach. It's a complete (and completely delicious) dinner, made in a single skillet. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 901kcal
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives


  • 2 lb chicken legs and thighs (4 large pieces) (or 8 separate smaller pieces), skin-on, bone-in)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
  • 3/4 pound mixed wild mushrooms (or white button) , sliced
  • 2 medium leeks 3/4 lb, 340g, white and pale green parts only, chopped (or a large yellow onion)
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (or substitute white wine)
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth , divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest finely grated (from 1 large lemon)
  • 3 oz baby spinach
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Dry chicken well and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet set over medium-high. Add chicken, skin side down, in a single layer. To get an even sear, place another heavy skillet on top of chicken, pressing it down. Cook until skin is crisp and deep golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. It will not yet be fully cooked at this point.
  • Add mushrooms and leeks and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the pan and stirring occasionally, until leeks are wilted and mushrooms are light brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in orzo and cook until toasty smelling, about 3 minutes. Pour in sherry and stir, until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 3 cups broth, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  • Nestle chicken back in pan, skin side up and transfer skillet to oven; bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through (it should register 165ºF on a thermometer) and orzo is tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer chicken to a platter. Stir orzo and, if dry, stir in the last 1/2 cup broth. Stir in lemon juice, zest and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Fold in baby spinach, a handful at a time, until wilted. Taste orzo for seasoning. Serve with lemon wedges.


Calories: 901kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 211mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 1311mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3331IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 6mg
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