Roasted Garlic Chicken & Mushroom Orzo Recipe

Italians think chicken and pasta in the same recipe is at best stupid and at worst a crime worthy of punishment by immediate death. We disagree. We also like mushrooms. This roasted chicken and mushroom orzo recipe is the outcome of this event.

Done in 1 hour

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Roasted chicken - perhaps the best smell in the world. There was a famous English aristocrat who loved the smell of roast chicken so much, he had one going round and round his enormous mansion on a tiny little train, like a meaty pot pourri. Anyway, back to the recipe in hand - add this delectable cooked poultry to orzo along with delicious mushrooms and everyone will love you and want to be your friend forever.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Take 3 squares of silver foil. Chop the top of each garlic bulb off to reveal the very tips of each clove nestled together. Place each one in the centre of its own square of silver foil and sprinkle individually with the thyme leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast them on a baking tray for 40 minutes then set aside, still wrapped up in foil, to cool. 

Mix together the butter, parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper. Squeeze in one of the cooled garlic bulbs - quite a fun task! 

Cut slits in the baguettes and use a small spoon to add the garlic butter. Place on a tray in the oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through and crisp.

Get a wide, deep sided frying pan or sautee pan. 

Season the chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper and place them skin side in the pan over a low heat. Cook for roughly 10 minutes before turning over - the skins should be deep gold and crisp and the fat should have rendered. Cook the other sides for another 10 minutes before removing with tongs and slicing into strips. Try to keep the skins intact. 

Leave the chicken fat in the pan and add the sliced shallots. Cook for around 5 minutes or until softened and golden then add the mushrooms and thyme leaves/ Fry them until they too have turned golden then pour over the wine to deglaze any nice bits stuck to the pan. Allow to reduce for 2-3 minutes. 

Add the orzo, stirring it through the mushroom mixture.

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Hugh Woodward

Hugh Woodward

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