Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Greek Chicken and Orzo

I had a friend over for dinner after work one weeknight.  I wanted to make something special and delicious and this was it. It was very easy.

Now, I am lucky in that I live a mere 7-minute drive away from work, so I could turn on my slow cooker during my lunch hour.  But if you cannot do that and you want to use your slow cooker during the week, buy a light timer.  You can get a manual one or a digital one. You can set it to start at a certain time and end at a certain time.  Plug it into your outlet, plug your slow cooker into the timer, and you are in business.  It is used for lights but it can be used for anything electrical.

Okay. Here's the recipe.

You will need:
4 medium chicken breast halves (I used chicken thighs)--about 1 1/2 pounds
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (I used regular white vinegar as I couldn't find white balsamic)
2 tsp instant chicken bullion granules
1 tbsp snipped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 1/3 cups orzo pasta
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chipped pitted ripe olives
1 tbsp snipped fresh oregano

Skin chicken and brown in a large skillet in the oil.  Combine fennel, onion, and garlic in the slow cooker.  Add chicken. In a bowl, stir together water, vinegar, bouillon, dried oregano (if using), and crushed red pepper.  Pour over all.

Cover, cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2 1/2-3 hours. If using, stir in the 1 tbsp fresh oregano towards the end.

At about the time the slow cooker time is done, cook the orzo according to package directions and drain. Stir tomato, cheese, olives and the 1 tbsp fresh oregano into the orzo. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and vegetables from the slow cooker.  Serve with orzo mixture.

This was a delicious and easy meal to prepare, and made for excellent leftovers for lunch.


  1. YUM! Hey how are you at indian food? I could use a slow cooker recipe for a chicken based dish...

  2. Actually, there's a really good cookbook called the Indian Slow Cooker--I love it!

  3. Funny...I've been in an Indian faze right now, (chick peas in onion/tomato/korma-curry sauce, over rice was the last dish I made) but I love Greek foods of all kinds. This dish sounds *de-lish* and inspires me to get out the Greek cookbook!

  4. Wow, that looks really good. Does it have a licorice flavor from the fennel?

    1. No, not a strong one. The fennel mellows considerably in the slow cooker.