Lemon Artichoke Chicken Thighs with Caper Thyme Orzo
Chicken Thighs... They're fattier, and they're yummier. Don't the two almost always go hand in hand. They really do. Unless of course you're compulsively eating a can of straight up crisco. Then a) yuck, b) you have problems (no judgment, of course).
3 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 12oz Jars of Artichoke Hearts
4 oz Jar of Capers
1 1/2 Cups Dry Orzo
1 Package of Thyme
5 Cloves of Garlic
3/4 Cup Chicken Stock (Tuscan flavor infused if you can find it)
Flour for Dusting
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lay your chicken thighs out on a cutting board after you have cut off the excess fat. (You don’t need to cut it all off, just the larger strips of fat.) Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic. Once you have done that, lightly sprinkle a layer of flour over the chicken and rub it all in. Flip the thighs over and repeat the process.
3. Prep your lemons, artichoke and thyme. Slice two on the lemons into circles. Drain the artichoke jars and set aside about half of the thyme (stems on) to bake with the chicken.
4. In a skillet (or sauté pan) heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil. You want it to be quite hot, since all you're doing is getting a nice brown sear on the outsides of the chicken. It’s going to help to caramelize the fat and trap in all the moisture when you transfer it into the oven. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken in the pan. Flip when browned, this will be about 3 min on each side.
5. Add the artichoke hearts, half of the capers, lemon slices and whole thyme stems into the skillet.
6. Put the skillet in the oven and bake the chicken 8-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
7. While your chicken is cooking fill a pan with water and cook the orzo. Follow the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
8. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and remove the chicken from the skillet. Also remove the thyme leaves and the lemon slices. Leave the juices, artichokes and capers.
9. Mince or pres the garlic and add it to the pan, cooking it in the chicken juices/fat. Do this for about 1-2 minutes until the garlic begins to brown.
10. Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock. As you pour it in, scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden or plastic spoon to get all the baked on flavors out. They will cook into your stock and add a lot of flavor.
11. Juice the remaining 2 lemons into the skillet.
12. Put in 1/4 cup of thyme leaves and any remaining capers and/or artichoke hearts.
13. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes so the flavors can all cook together.
14. Add the cooked orzo and mix thoroughly.
15. Plate the orzo mixture topped with chicken and garnish as desired. You could also add parmesan as it would be a complimentary flavor.