RECIPE: One-Skillet Stuffed Chicken and Orzo

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  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped and divided
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, add to your taste
  • 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup kale, stalks removed and roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, basil, almonds, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, and about ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well integrated.
  2. Slice the chicken through the middle horizontally to within a 1/2 inch of the other side. Open the two sides and spread them out like an open book. Evenly divide the goat cheese mixture between the chicken spread on one side of each opened breast. Close the chicken over the filling and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side. Be careful when flipping the chicken, rotating the breast so that the “spine of the book” stays facing down towards the skillet, helping to prevent the filling from falling out. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  4. To the same skillet, add butter, garlic, and orzo. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the orzo is toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the kale, cherry tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil over high heat, and stir.
  5. Once the skillet is boiling, turn off the heat and place the chicken back into the skillet on top of the pasta. Add any juices or filling left on the resting plate back into the skillet. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F).
  6. Serve the chicken and orzo topped with fresh basil and a wedge of lemon. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


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