Creamy leek and Dijon orzo with chicken

Serves: 4
Course: Main Course
Cooking Time: 0 hr 20 mins
  • 4 free range chicken fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 leek, washed, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 300g orzo pasta
  • 700ml stock (or water and 1 stock cube)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp creamy Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 40g finely grated Parmesan
  • To serve: A green salad or broccoli 

1 Heat the oil in a frying pan. Flatten out the chicken fillets slightly so they're all the same thickness and will cook evenly. Lay them in the pan and season with a little salt. Leave to cook undisturbed for five minutes before turning them over and cooking fully on the other side. Set aside and keep warm.

2 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large heavy based pan. Add the sliced leeks and stir. Place the lid on, lower the heat and leave to sauté gently. After five minutes, add the orzo and stir to coat the pasta in the buttery leeks. Add the stock and mustard and half of the thyme.

3 Increase the heat and simmer till the orzo is just cooked, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the yoghurt or crème fraîche, the remaining thyme and half of the Parmesan. Taste for seasoning, adding extra salt or black pepper if it needs it. Divide the orzo between four bowls, top with a sliced chicken fillet, scatter with the remaining Parmesan and drizzle with some good olive oil.

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer