Lemon Orzo & Pan-Fried Chicken

We've teamed up with The Cookdown to bring you the ultimate date night recipe: Lemon Orzo & Pan-fried Chicken. It's sure to be a real hit with your partner (and score a few brownie points too).

Follow the @thecookdown on Instagram or check out the full step-by-step video here


For the orzo:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium brown onion/2 small onions
  • 400g orzo
  • 1 lemon
  • Glug of white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock (vegetable if preferred)
  • 90g parmesan cheese 
  • 1 bundle asparagus
  • Parsley to garnish

For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mediterranean herbs
  • 1 tsp onion salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

Orzo instructions:

  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in a deep pan.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Add dry orzo with strips of lemon zest and cover in the butter already in the pan.
  • Add a glug of white wine and let the orzo soak it up.
  • Add chicken stock to a pint of water.
  • Once the wine has been absorbed, add the chicken stock stirring in each time.
  • Occasionally stir until the majority of the water has been absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  • Add the parmesan.
  • Add the asparagus.
  • Add the juice from half the lemon.
  • Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and orzo is soft or slightly al dente. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste (remember a lot of saltiness is provided by the parmesan). 

Chicken instructions:

  • Add the paprika, herbs, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil to a bowl and mix.
  • Place chicken breast in the bowl and cover in the spice mix.
  • Pre heat a cast iron skillet or thick-bottomed frying plan on a high heat. 
  • Reduce to medium heat and pour a good glug of olive oil, then add the chicken.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes on one side, depending on the size of your chicken breast.
  • Turn the chicken over to cook for another 4-6 minutes, adding a teaspoon of butter to the skillet. 
  • Add lemon slices to the skillet, for the final 4 minutes, cooking until browned on both sides.

To serve:

  1. Place cooked Orzo on a plate and the chicken breast on top.
  2. Top with the browned lemons and parsley, as well as any extra juices from the skillet if you wish. 
  3. Enjoy!