Chicken drumstick fillet, lemon and orzo one-pot


First published in 2019
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We've used preserved lemon to add some extra depth of flavour to this recipe, but the method here is foolproof and versatile – you can just use regular lemon if you like, and feel free to switch up the herbs or substitute the orzo for rice or another grain or your choice.

Getting a bit of colour on the chicken drumstick fillets at the beginning will do wonders for this dish – they have bags of flavour, and that surface caramelisation just adds to the richness. Baking everything together in a good casserole pot will keep your drumstick fillets nice and moist, as well as giving your orzo a lovely sticky texture (almost like a risotto).

This dish is fantastic served as is, but you can also add some simply steamed greens on the side.




Preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4
Place a large ovenproof casserole pot over a high heat with the olive oil. When the oil is hot, season the drumstick fillets and sear for 5 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain
Lower the heat to medium and add the finely diced onion and celery to the pan. Sweat until softened and just starting to caramelise (about 10 minutes), then add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute
Deglaze the pan with white wine and use a spatula to scrape all the caramelisation off the bottom of the pan. Leave to simmer and reduce by three-quarters (about 10 minutes)
Add the drumstick fillets back into the pan, along with the preserved lemon, chicken stock and a splash of preserved lemon brine. Bring back to a simmer, then cover and place in the oven for 20 minutes
Add the orzo and capers, then return the pot to the oven uncovered for another 10 minutes, or as long as it takes the orzo to cook on your packet instructions. Give the pot a good stir half way through to loosen the orzo grains a little bit
After 10 minutes the orzo should have absorbed most of the liquid. Taste for seasoning and finish the dish with the parsley, dill, a drizzle of good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice
First published in 2019
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