The Boyertown Area Times

Ina’s Chicken in a Pot With Orzo

Yield: 4 generous servings



Olive oil

1 (3 1⁄2- to 4-pound) whole chicken

2 cups (3⁄4-inch diced) scrubbed carrots (10 ounces)

2cups (3⁄4-inch diced) celery (4 stalks)

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (about 3leeks), soaked in cold water to rise, drained, patted dry

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

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

4 cups simmering chicken broth

1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads 6 sprigs fresh thyme

8 sprigs fresh parsley

10 sprigs fresh dill, plus additional dill for garnish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3⁄4 cup orzo (pasta shaped like rice)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoon­s olive oil in medium (11-inch) Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Dry chicken all over, place it in pot breast side down and sear it for 5 to 7 minutes without moving, until skin is nicely browned. Turn chicken breast side up and sear for another 4to 5minutes, until browned on the bottom. Transfer chicken to a plate.

2. Add carrots, celery, leeks, and fennel to pot and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasional­ly, until vegetables start to brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to pot breast side up, spreading the vegetables around the chicken. Add broth, saffron, and enough water to cover the chicken with just an inch of the breastbone exposed. Tie 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 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil, cover, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking to be sure the liquid is simmering.

3. Discard the herb bundle, stir orzo into broth, cover and allow to sit off heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until 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 portions) and reheat, if necessary. Spoon some of the chicken, broth, veggies, and pasta into large shallow bowls and serve hot sprinkled generously with minced fresh dill and salt.

Source: “Go-To Dinners” by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, $35)


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