Ina's Crispy Chicken with Lemon Orzo
Last night began the epic odyssey of what I will now refer to as "The Ina Chronicles." The first of 93 recipes that I will be tackling from her latest cookbook, "Modern Comfort Food." And boy, oh boy, did we start with a winner! The Crispy Chicken with Lemon Orzo photo in the book looked so delicious and simple, that it had to be the first one to try.
Keep in mind, with these recipes, I will follow them EXACTLY, even measuring everything out, which you know I typically don't do. Then I will provide my review with any adjustments I would make to make it easier to cook or, dare I say, better. I will not be providing the actual recipe, because I think if you want them, you should go ahead and buy the book.
Let's break it down.
Most of the prep for this could be done in tandem with the cooking. The toughest thing, honestly, is finding boneless SKIN-ON chicken breasts. However, if you visit your local butcher, they'll likely be able to cut up a full chicken to provide you these (Thanks, Fleishers!). You will need to make sure to remove the tenders on the underside of the breast so each one is essentially the same thickness, ensuring they cook in the same amount of time (see video below for more on this).
Ina's recipe calls for a mixture of canola oil and butter for searing the chicken in the cast iron. This is the only aspect of the recipe I changed, replacing canola oil with sunflower oil, which still has a similar smoking point to canola, but is healthier.
Mincing the dill and parsley can be done while both the chicken and orzo are cooking.
The cooking aspect of this was extremely simple. Once you place the chicken in the cast iron, you don't even touch it for 12 minutes straight - then you move it to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, so you are basically hands off for 22 minutes. I cooked the orzo while the chicken was in the oven, cubed the feta, and minced the dill and parsley, so everything was ready at the same time. That said, the last 5 minutes of completing this meal got slightly hectic to ensure that the orzo was still warm after I cut the chicken and plated it.
I would cook this ONE minute less on the stove, for 11 minutes, and keep the 10 minutes in the oven before the last 3-5 minutes on the stove. The chicken was pretty perfect, though. I would also save yourself the extra step on the feta by buying crumbled versus a whole block that you need to cut up.
Maldon Sea Salt for plating the chicken is an absolute must. DO NOT SKIP.
Everyone loved this last night, even the kids. It was fresh, filling, and extremely flavorful.
5 out of 5 Lollipops.