Tuesday, January 5, 2016

One-Pot Chicken & Sausage Orzo – Tastes Like You Used at Least 3 or 4 Pots

There’s something extra satisfying about a recipe like this one-pot chicken and sausage orzo, where you just basically dump the ingredients in a pot, and wait until it’s cooked. Sure, you have to stir it a few times, and it helps if you add stuff in the right order, but for how delicious this comes out, you’re doing very little actual work.

Having said that, there are a few variables involved, so you will have to really keep and eye on the pot for the entire 10-15 minutes, or however long it takes. The size of the orzo “grain” can really vary, so be sure to check for doneness early, and stop when it’s 95% tender, as it will continue to soften as you complete the final steps.

I like to keep a little extra broth on the side, in case my mixture gets too dry, and the pasta is not yet cooked. Just splash some in and keep on stirring. On the other hand, if your pasta is cooked and there is a little too much liquid, well, that’s life. You’ll just be enjoying an extra “saucy” dish that day.

Of course this will work with countless combos of sausage, veggies, and other small-sized pastas, so go forth and multiply. By the way, the nice thing about using a very flavorful sausage, like a spicy Italian, is that most of the seasoning is done for you. Or, go with fresh ground meat, and you can flavor it any way you want. No matter what you use, I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 (6 ounce) spicy Italian sausages, casing removed
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces, OR 2 chicken breasts, cut into bit sized pieces
3 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives
4 tablespoons ricotta cheese to garnish


Dan Hughes said...

First comment! Wahoo! Do I get the freakishly small spoon award?

Unknown said...

Tomato sauce?! I think it got left out of the ingredients list... :(

I'm a long time fan of yours now and have made many of your dishes for my friends and family. Your fantastic videos and elegant recipes have helped me deceive my boyfriend into thinking that I'm a domestic goddess in the kitchen! This is definitely on my list for dinner soon... love the "one-pot" idea.

Much love and well wishes in 2016!

Bri (and Bob)

Unknown said...

Hello there chef John. I have made this dish many many times. I'm almost certain I have even made the exact same one you did here. Of course, like you naturally would, I used chicken thighs. But basically the exact same technique. However I would like to suggest one extra step that I do that makes a huge difference in richness and depth of flavour. In a dry pan toast 30% of the orzo before adding to or adding the liquid component. It's a punch in the face of deep flavour. I have seen some cooks toast 50% of the pasta but when I did it I found it too strong. Too overpowering. 1/3 was perfect for me. Of course the toasted grains would take a little longer to soften but the dual textures of the pasta is interestingly awesome. Please try it chef. Go! Now! Go try it.
And as always.....
You're welcome.

David McCutcheon said...

Great recipe, everyone loved it.

Travis Heryford said...

Looks delicious! It also looks like you may have left out the tomato sauce from the ingredients list. Just a heads up!

Anonymous said...

You also didn't post the directions on how to make it. Just the video.

Jesse from Detroit said...

What are your top five one-pot wonders, John?

Anonymous said...

CJ -- One comment, one question:

1) Holy cow, CJ used the abomination that is the boneless, skinless chicken breast!!

2) Why are chives "technically" NOT an herb?

Thanks, Long time reader, Long time annoying poster;)

Michele Cryan said...

Rabo Encendido.....1 pot.

Anonymous said...

...And finally: I LOVE the Quenelle shape of the ricotta!

Chef John said...

Like scallions, chives are considered an onion, and not an herb by those that categorize such things.

Jersey Beat Podcast said...

This looks delicious, will try it this week. FYI best tool to break up sausage like this is your potato masher.

Lillian Chung said...

Happy new year Chef John! I just made this, absolutely delicious! As always!

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John--

I've been making a lot of your meals for my parents lately, but my mom keeps kosher and doesn't eat pork. What do you recommend as a substitute for italian sausage when used in your recipes?


Jeff the Chef said...

Chicken and sausage couldn't be better friends. This looks like a good candidate for an after-work-on-a-weeknight meal.

Billy MacKenzie said...

Just between me and my cardiologist I skimmed the fat.

Unknown said...

Chef John! There is something i've been wanting to tell you but never did!
I've done some testing, and if you put a citrus fruit in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds, you get double the juice! I think it's because the microwave heats up the water and the water expands, so the small membrane that holds the lemon juice get destroyed! Great for saving lemon for tomorrow or if you need 2 lemons worth of juice but only one lemon worth of peel!

Unknown said...

I made your dish last night for supper and my hubby asked if there were any left to that he could take to work for lunch. My family and I loved this meal and it was really easy to prepare, I too choose to use bone in skin on chicken thighs that I brined for a few hours, after which I browned then discarded the skin and removed as much of the chicken from the bone and cut the meat into cubes . . . (that's what I had in the freezer) . . .this process, only added 5 more minutes to the entire recipe. I also toasted a 1/3 of the orzo as suggested. This is an "excellent" recipe that I will continue to make and I absolutely LOVE your video channel and your sense of humor.

Shloobs said...

We made this for dinner last night and it was absolutely delicious. There are a couple of tweaks we'd probably do next time, as ours did turn out a little salty. Either leaving out some salt or using a low-sodium broth might be better (for our tastes, at least). Also, I definitely agree with the person who mentioned toasting some of the orzo. We toasted 1/2 cup and the flavor was definitely prevalent, and it added a nice texture into the mix. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

Unknown said...

For Zack, and others that don't want to use pork, or want to cut down the fat a bit.
Use fresh turkey Italian Sausage (not pre-cooked). My market has it in the meat section near the other poultry products.

If you can't find it, search for "homemade turkey italian sausage recipes" online (unless Chef John has one). If you can't find one that looks good drop the "turkey" and then replace the pork a traditional sausage recipe calls for with turkey. I've found using ground turkey or chicken, mix the spices called for by the sausage recipe, and then leaving it for a few hours (or overnight) in a bowl before cooking.

Unknown said...

Someone asked, and I transcribed the directions to use them:
Remove casings from sausage.
Add olive oil and brown sausage, breaking it up finely.

Add chicken and salt to taste.
Mix and cook for a few minutes.

Add chicken broth
Stir and scrape bottom to deglaze pot
Add tomato sauce
Raise heat to high and bring to simmer.

Lower heat to medium
Add orzo and salt

Stir frequently
If the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is not done add more liquid until the pasta is nearly done.

Turn off heat
Add cheese and stir
Add chives and parsley and stir

Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese on the top.

The Pastor Chef said...

I'm pinning many of the recipes that I want to try and posting results on my blog. There have been many successful so far and this one looks like I need to try it. The only hurdle is getting my wife to try something of this texture or spice...I may cook her something else that day!

Unknown said...

Hi John,
With regard to the amount of italian sausage for the recipe, is it 2 6 ounce sausages (so 12 ounces in total) or 2 sausages totalling 6 ounces in weight? It looks like a great recipe, I can't wait to try it!

Unknown said...

12 ounces of sausage total.

and for Eloraci Calannie - Chef John never does post the recipe. You actually have to do some work and watch the video :-)

Unknown said...

I made this last night for my family and it was a huge hit!! Thank you for a quick, delicious meal that I can easily make on those hectic nights.

Derek Scuteri said...

Botanically, the chive, Allium schoenoprasum, is an edible
species of the Allium genus, which include onion, garlic,
scallion, shallot and leek.

The Allium species are perennial herbaceous plants (herbs).

I used a whole package of Italian turkey sausage (1.25 lbs),
sautéed a chopped onion, deglazed with white wine and added
a package of baby spinach at the end and it was delicious!
I would like to see more one-pot meals please!

Unknown said...

John. I had to laugh when I saw you make this dish and wonder if you had made the same mistake I did.

I was making up a quick paella with chicken thighs and sausage (Spanish chorizo). It started basically the same way as your dish with a little tomato sauce instead of saffron, garlic, stock, etc. But in my haste (and not wearing my glasses), I grabbed what I thought was a jar of Arborio rice... But it was orzo!

To my surprise it worked and looked very much like this dish. Now I have two versions that I can pretend was a mistake!

DanaBear70 said...

I made this last night and it turned out perfect. I used fresh parsley and chives, completed it with the ricotta as well and the texture was just right. However, I did not use spicy Italian sausage. I wish I would have because it was a little bland even though I added dry basil and oregano to it. I didn't have anything else to spice it up with on hand but it was very yummy and satisfying. The only thing I felt was missing really was garlic. Next time I make it, I will use the spicy Italian sausage, but I will make this again for sure!!

Unknown said...

Chef John, another homerun. My wife loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and techniques. This will be a regular in our comfort food rotation. So EASY!

pbjazz said...

I was all set to make this recipe, and then... OH NO, I didn't have any orzo, or pasta! My daughter had recently bought some quinoa, so I substituted the orzo for quinoa and crossed my fingers. It was amazing! I let it sit for an add'l 15 min to absorb the liquid. But it was really good, my husband loved it. Thank you for the recipe.

Alberto Lorusso said...

In Italy they would jail you for this......unbelievable...!

Unknown said...

Good thing we're not in Italy. This was 'unbelievably' good!

DanaBear70 said...

My father's entire family was from Italy... and I believe he would definitely approve.

Cherrytos said...

This has become one of our speciality. People expect some level from us now. It's so good, it's crazy. We try to have some leftovers, but it's so hard!

Also, I officialy have a little crush on Chef John now. My husband too.

Unknown said...

I love orzo and this recipe sounds delish! On the menu for next week!

Unknown said...

I love orzo and this recipe sounds delish! On the menu for next week!

Mark H said...

I tried it just and sorry but I did not like this _at_all. Although the sauce was tasty and well seasoned, the fennel seed in the Italian sausage ultimately ruined it for me. Oh well, I'm sure it would be good with regular (Southern) sausage. Live and learn.

Unknown said...

I make this once, and put it on my permanent rotation. But my wife doesn't like ricotta cheese. How about a dollop of creme fraiche instead?

P. S. Hamilton said...

I will make the one pot chicken with sausage and orzo again and again.
It definitely hits the spot. Some of my orzo stuck to the bottom of the pot, but that won't deter me. Thanks for all the great video work.
P. Scott Hamilton

Jackie Patti said...

This is reminiscent of a childhood food, simply pastina cooked in chicken broth. I still make it when I'm sick today, as I nearly always have homemade chicken stock in my freezer and even ill, I can manage to boil for a few minutes. I only add parsley and Parmesan. There is simply no comfort food like it in the world. Any tiny pasta will do, alphabet pasta, orzo, etc. but the tiny stars are my favorite, probably because they were comfort food when I was 3 years old.

I will have to try your idea with Italian sausage and chicken thighs for a meal when not sick as this sounds very yummy to me. ;)

Rob said...

Instead of tomato sauce, toss in a can of diced tomatoes as you would some broth. An awesome easy dish made awesomer.

Rickster1252 said...

John, this looks like a great way to use up some of the leftover chicken in the freezer. Any suggestions as to when to add it since it does not need to be cooked (it will be thawed)?
Thanks, Rickster1252

Unknown said...

I use andouille sausage and I find that it's even better 👍