How to Make Nostalgic One-pot Paprika Chicken With Orzo and Olives

An updated and modernized variation of mom’s simple recipe made into an easy one-pan meal. And find yourself some Castelvetrano olives – they are buttery with a bit of brine and so addictive

Samantha Ferraro
One Pot Paprika Chicken with Orzo and Olives
One Pot Paprika Chicken with Orzo and OlivesCredit: Samantha Ferraro
Samantha Ferraro
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This one pot paprika chicken is a take on my mom’s memorable paprika chicken recipe. I have very fond memories of cleaning the whole bird and then rubbing it down with loads of paprika for weeknight dinners. The spice gives a deep rich color and imparts a delicious smoky flavor.

This is my updated and modernized variation of mom’s simple recipe made into an easy one-pan meal. Oh, and find yourself some Castelvetrano olives – they are buttery with a bit of brine and so addictive.

Tip: If you can’t find the specified olives, substitute with the easier-to-find green manzanilla olives.

This recipe is excerpted from my new cookbook, “The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen.”

Samantha Ferraro is the food blogger and photographer for The Little Ferraro Kitchen. Follow Samantha at


2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

Olive oil, as needed

1 shallot, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

8 ounces dried orzo

2 cups chicken stock

1 lemon, sliced

1 cup whole pitted Castelvetrano olives

Chopped parsley, for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the paprika and salt, making sure the spices evenly coat the chicken.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Don’t add too much oil because the chicken will give off its own fat as well.

4. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken thighs skin-side down into the hot pan and cook until a deep golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip the chicken over to the other side and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

5. Once both sides of the chicken are a deep golden brown, remove to a plate and set aside.

6. In the same hot skillet, add the shallot and saute until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

7. Add the orzo and stir so it is coated in the oil and aromatics (this will give it great flavor). Use a spatula to even out the orzo. Add the chicken back into the pan, skin-side up and pour in the stock.

8. Scatter the lemon slices and olives over the chicken and orzo and place in the oven, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking for an additional 12 to 15 minutes.

9. Once cooked, remove from the oven and garnish with parsley.

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