1-Pot Greek Chicken Drumsticks And Orzo Recipe

We know what you're thinking: "These chicken drumsticks were such a steal at the grocery store, but now what do I do with them?" Chicken drumsticks are one of the most economical cuts of poultry, but arguably the least versatile especially when compared to do-anything thighs and breasts. They are delicious when fried, but let's be honest — we can't eat fried food every day, delicious as it may be.

We have good news for you: drumsticks can be used a lot like bone-in chicken thighs and become pull-apart tender when simmered slowly in stock or broth. In this recipe written by developer Michelle McGlinn, the drumsticks are coated in thyme, seared, and simmered with orzo and artichokes for a Greek-inspired creamy one-pot meal. It's super easy, no mess, and healthy, making it the perfect weeknight meal for any season. Read on below for tips on how to throw this one together and save yourself from throwing out those drumsticks.

Gather the ingredients for 1-Pot Greek chicken drumsticks and orzo

You'll need chicken drumsticks here, and this recipe will work for 1 to 1 ½ pounds of drumsticks or about 6-10 pieces. You can swap the drumsticks for bone-in, skin-on thighs or even breasts if you prefer, adjusting the cook time accordingly. To season the chicken you'll need ground thyme (regular dried thyme will work, too), salt, and pepper, and to sear them you'll need olive oil. Next, grab a shallot, garlic, half of a lemon, dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc, Dijon mustard, and chicken broth or stock. Once the broth is formed, you'll need artichoke hearts and orzo. Look for the canned or jarred artichokes located in the canned vegetable aisle, and buy them either whole, to cut yourself, or quartered (they're usually not sold in halves). To finish the dish, you'll need Greek yogurt, spinach, and crumbled feta cheese. The yogurt and cheese are optional and can be omitted for a dairy-free dish.

Season and sear the chicken

Rub the chicken with thyme, salt, and pepper until well coated, shaking off any excess, then heat up the oil in a large, deep skillet. Once hot, brown the chicken on all sides. If the chicken sticks and does not lift easily from the skillet, add oil and keep cooking until the skin is crispy and the chicken can be flipped easily. Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the skillet, leaving any browned bits behind. The chicken will still be mostly pink here, so handle carefully and reserve on a separate plate.

Reduce the wine

If needed, add more oil to the skillet, then sauté the aromatics until fragrant. Pour in the wine and lemon juice and cook until the wine is mostly reduced and very little liquid is left in the pot. Whisk in the mustard and chicken stock and stir well to combine into a smooth broth. You can eyeball the mustard here, but don't use too much; a little bit of Dijon goes a long way.

Simmer the chicken and orzo

Add the chicken and artichokes first, before sprinkling in the orzo. You might be tempted to add the orzo first to more easily submerge it in broth, but we don't recommend this because the pasta then gets stuck underneath the chicken and melts into the bottom of the skillet, leading to a burnt, sticky mess. Add the chicken first, bring the broth to a boil, then sprinkle the orzo around the meat and submerge as much as possible. Lower the heat to a steady simmer and cover to trap in the steam. To ensure the orzo isn't sticking to the bottom, stir every few minutes.

Add the spinach and yogurt and serve

If the liquid is absorbed but the orzo is still very firm, add more stock or water and cook until the orzo is very soft. Once the orzo is ready and the chicken is cooked through, sprinkle in the spinach and stir until wilted. To help the spinach wilt faster, you can cover the skillet and steam the spinach before stirring everything together.

Once the spinach is combined, add the yogurt. When the yogurt is melted and the orzo is creamy, remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with feta. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

One-pot meals are great for when you don't have time for sides, but if you want a full meal, this chicken and orzo pairs well with roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, and stuffed grape leaves. Leftovers keep well for up to a week in the refrigerator and are even ideal for meal prepping (we recommend saving the feta separately to sprinkle on fresh). This is a great go-to dinner when you need a filling meal in a hurry, so be sure to add it to your weekly rotation.

1-Pot Greek Chicken Drumsticks And Orzo Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
This 1-pot Greek chicken drumsticks and orzo recipe will have dinner on the table in a breeze.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken and orzo on a plate
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 pound chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 (14-ounce) can large artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, for topping
  1. Season the chicken on all sides with thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and brown on all sides until golden brown. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet, adding more oil if needed. Sauté until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  4. Whisk in the Dijon mustard and chicken stock, then add the artichokes and chicken drumsticks. Bring to a boil, then add the orzo, submerging completely with stock.
  5. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and cook the mixture, stirring often to avoid sticking, until orzo is al dente and chicken is cooked through. This should take about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the spinach to wilt, then stir in the Greek yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To serve, divide into bowls and top with feta.
Calories per Serving 613
Total Fat 29.5 g
Saturated Fat 8.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 131.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.9 g
Total Sugars 8.3 g
Sodium 1,299.6 mg
Protein 38.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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