This Bon Appetit recipe is intended for a skillet, but it’s perfect for a Dutch oven, too. I love lemon, so I typically double the amount of zest. It all comes together in less than an hour, but be warned that you have 15 minutes of constantly stirring the orzo ahead of you. The result is worth it.
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), patted dry
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 fennel bulb, chopped, plus fronds, chopped
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
8 ounces orzo
1/3 cup dry white wine
2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rain salt and then some pepper all over chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Nestle chicken, skin side down, in the pot in a single layer with no gaps (if you can’t quite fit them all, wait until chicken shrinks slightly, then puzzle in the remaining pieces). Cook until meat is opaque around the edges and skin is deep golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up and transfer skillet to oven; bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Set same Dutch oven over medium heat; combine fennel bulb and leek in the pot and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until leek is looking golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add orzo and cook until pasta is darkened (it will take on a brown hue) to a nice nutty brown in spots and toasty smelling, about 3 minutes. Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting broth absorb before adding more, until orzo is tender and broth is mostly absorbed but pot is not dry, 10-15 minutes.
Remove Dutch oven from heat. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking; mix in lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then chopped fennel fronds. Pile chicken on top and finish with remaining lemon zest.
Makes 4 servings