When I need to have tasty but fast food, I always look towards chicken thighs. It’s one of the things I always have in my freezer and I love it so much because there is a plethora of things you can do with them. From using them in stews and curries to roasting them and the meat shredded makes the best chicken mayo sarmies the next day. This is the ultimate weeknight meal because the thighs take no more then 20 minutes to roast in a hot oven and the orzo salad is the work of minutes.
I used a combination of courgettes, feta cheese, mint and basil for the orzo salad but you can use whatever you have in your fridge or pantry. Going into spring, the variations on this is endless so you can really have fun with it. The end result is a meal that not only cleans out your fridge, but also something that is really delicious and satisfying.
8 free range chicken thighs
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
300g orzo/pasta rice
3 large courgettes, roughly chopped
2 rounds of feta (+- 100g), crumbled
½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, shredded
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- Place the chicken on a greased roasting tray.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp and golden.
- Meanwhile, cook the orzo in salted water for +- 7 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Fry the courgettes in 1 tbsp olive oil until just cooked (you want them to still be slightly firm).
- Add the courgettes, crumbled feta and mint to the orzo and toss to combine. If it’s a bit dry, add a 1 tbsp olive oil and season to taste.
- Serve the chicken thighs on the orzo salad with a lemon wedge.