I don't know what it is about spaghetti night, but I haven't ever been a fan. I don't know if it's the lack of originality behind it or my ambivalent feelings about twirling tomato-covered noodles around a fork, but it's just not my jam. HOWEVER, when a mom at the playground says, "It's spaghetti night at our house tonight!" there is a small part of me that wants to tackle her because we all know that Spaghetti = SpagEASY. I don't want to make spaghetti per se, but I want to make something that is spagEASY. Is that too much to ask? And so, if your Spaghetti night needs a little remix, I've got the perfect new jam for you...
Braised Chicken & Orzo
1. Bring a large part of water to boil. Chop the garlic and thyme. (That's right! Only 2 things to chop - it's a Christmas miracle!)
2. If you want to trim some of the fat off of the chicken thighs, go ahead, but DO NOT perform full-on liposuction. Rather treat them like you would the thighs on a chubby 10 month old baby. The chubbier, the better. Say yes to the chubs and yes to a little chicken thigh fat. And then, season those thighs liberally with salt on both sides.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp. Olive oil in a heavy saute pan over medium heat. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side or until browned. Depending on how many thighs you have, they might have to take turns as to not overcrowd the pan. Once browned, transfer to a plate. (Don't freak out that they aren't fully cooked, they will get more stove time.)
4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic to the same pan you cooked the chicken in (There should be some fat renderings left in the pan, so LEAVE THEM THERE.) Stir the garlic constantly until it massages your nostrils with its heavenly scent. Then add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 chicken stock concentrate. Turn up the heat, stirring constantly and scraping up the delicious brown bits on the bottom of the pan until the sauce starts to simmer.
5. Add the thyme & oregano and then snuggle those little thighs down into the sauce until they are partially covered by the sauce. They can all fit in the pan at this point even though it's a tight squeeze. Turn the heat down just slightly so that the sauce is simmering GENTLY. Partially cover the pan (if you don't have a lid, you can cover loosely with tin foil, just be careful not to let the foil touch the burner). Cook for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
6. While the chicken cooks, add the orzo to the boiling water with a tablespoon of salt and cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente.
7. Once the chicken is cooked, you can either shred it or just leave it as is. You do you. Put some orzo in a bowl and top with chicken and a ladle-full of the sauce.
If you want to go crazy, you can thrown on some parmesan or serve with bread or make a vegetable because HEALTH. But don't judge me, I"m counting the thyme and tomatoes as a veggie here and I don't need any lip about it. After all, I just needed something spagEASY, ok?!
Wishing you kudos in the kitchen,
I am a lover of people, a child of God, and a laugher at jokes. I write words, cry tears and smile at strangers.