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Braised Chicken with Leeks, Orzo, Peas and Parsley

Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken, chickpeas, leeks, orzo
Servings: 3
Author: Nigel Slater


  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 6 large chicken thighs
  • 250 g leeks
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • half a lemon
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 200 g orzo
  • 150 g peas shelled or frozen weight
  • parsley and tarragon a small handful


  • Warm the oil in a deep, lidded pan, add the chicken pieces, skin side down and lightly seasoned, then cook until the skin is a rich, deep gold. Turn them and colour the underside similarly, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Set the oven at 200C. Trim the leeks, discarding the roots and very tips of the leaves. Cut into short pieces about the length of a wine cork, then wash them thoroughly, removing every grain of grit trapped between their layers.
  • Pat the leeks dry, then fry them in the chicken pan over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes, covered with a lid, so they soften without browning. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring as you go, then add the half lemon, peppercorns and a teaspoon of salt. As the stock boils rain in the orzo and continue boiling for 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, cover again and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add the peas, then return to the oven for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning, then add the tarragon and parsley and serve in bowls, with spoons.