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Image / Living / Food & Drink

What to make this weekend: Diana Henry’s stuffed Greek chicken with orzo


By Meg Walker
09th Mar 2024
What to make this weekend: Diana Henry’s stuffed Greek chicken with orzo

This is the perfect recipe for a weekend dinner, with everything you need all in one dish.

Preparing a roast doesn’t have to mean a series of pots on the hob, trying to ensure everything cooks at the same rate. This roast has it all. You have double carbs – orzo and stuffing – but it works because the bread becomes deliciously soft and soggy with the juices from the tomatoes.

Stuffed Greek chicken with cayenne, oregano & orzo
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1.8kg chicken
  • 75g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 115g tomatoes, chopped
  • 75g coarse country bread, torn into small pieces
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 225g orzo
  • 500ml boiling chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, or chopped leaves from 4 oregano sprigs
  • green salad, or roasted peppers, to serve

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C fan/gas mark 6.
  2. Put the chicken into an ovenproof dish – I use a cast-iron one – which is 30cm in diameter. Mix the feta, tomatoes, bread, olive oil, garlic, half the dried oregano and some seasoning in a bowl. Stuff this into the chicken cavity.
  3. Rub the chicken – breast and legs – with the cayenne, sprinkle with the rest of the dried oregano, then season the bird and drizzle it with olive oil.
  4. Roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the orzo around the chicken and pour on the boiling stock. Return to the oven for a final 20 minutes. Check during this time to make sure the orzo isn’t becoming dry: there should be enough stock in it, but top it up with a little boiling water if you need to.
  6. The chicken should be cooked: check by piercing it deeply between the leg and the body, the juices that run out should be clear, with no traces of pink. The orzo should be tender and the stock should have been absorbed.
  7. Stir the fresh chopped herbs into the orzo and serve the chicken straight from the dish. A green salad or roasted red peppers is all you need on the side.

Extracted from From the Oven to the Table: Simple Dishes that look after themselves by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley). Photograph by Laura Edwards.