Chicken and Orzo

🍂 🍁 Comfort food and a beautiful Virginia Meritage. Grandma used to make this chicken and orzo dish all the time. Then my mom. Now me. That’s how I roll when it starts to get cold. 🍂 🍁

Chicken and Orzo and First Colony Winery 2016 Meritage

This chicken and pasta with tomato and warm spices needs a special type of wine to match its spice and carry on its hug from grandma. Reds would be my first choice of wine–medium body, medium tannins to cut the fat from the butter, oil, and cheese, fruity to match the cooked tomato, and bold enough to stand up to the onions and garlic.

I think these red varietals would go perfectly: Chianti, Zinfandel, Meritage, Bordeaux, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Côtes du Rhône, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese, Rosso di Montalcino, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cabernet franc, Negroamaro, Nero d’avola.

Others to try: Rosé, Sparkling Lambrusco, Sauvignon Blanc , Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, Chablis.

I paired with: First Colony Winery 2016 Meritage

Chicken and Orzo

Mediterranean comfort food. Rice shaped pasta baked in a warm spice and tomato sauce with roast chicken on top. Heaven on a plate.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: butter chicken, orzo, tomato, warm spices
Servings: 4


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 package chicken breasts (3-4) boneless, skinless
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, medium chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 can tomato paste 6 ounce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14 ounce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or grated parmesan divided


  • Preheat oven to 375. In large skillet, melt butter. Season chicken breast and add to butter. Brown chicken for 3 minutes, turn and brown the second side for 1 minute. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  • In same skillet, add 1/4 olive oil. Add onions and garlic to pan, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add spices. Add orzo. Stir and cook until orzo is lightly toasted and fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir until melted and distributed. Stir in diced tomatoes. 
  • Pour orzo into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with chicken breast. Pour chicken stock over orzo and chicken. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees and liquid has been absorbed.
  • Plate and garnish with shredded Parmesan or Feta. 
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