- 8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
- 2 servings salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 25 g butter
- 1 leek, trimmed, well washed and finely sliced
- 1 Fennel bulb, trimmed and very thinly sliced, feathery fronds reserved and chopped
- 250 g Shiitake mushrooms, wiped
- 1½ cups Orzo
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2½ cups low sodium chicken stock, hot
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Pat chicken thighs with kitchen paper to dry then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a casserole dish (one that is suitable for stove top and oven), over medium heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. This will take about 8 minutes.
- Cover and place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to a very low heat. Transfer the chicken to a heatproof plate, cover loosely and return to the oven to keep hot.
- Place the dish with all its liquid back over medium heat and add the leek, fennel and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
- Add the orzo and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble up, then begin adding the chicken stock, about ½ cup at a time. Repeat until the orzo is tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, finely grate over the zest of lemon and squeeze in enough juice to your taste. Remove chicken from the warm oven and place on top of the orzo. Scatter over the chopped fennel fronds.
Tip: some picked thyme leaves scattered over to serve are good here too.