sabato 24 novembre 2012

Orzo Rusticano (English version)

La versione italiana di questo post si trova qua, sullo stupendo foodblog, Matematica e Cucina (

One day, a dear friend gave me a recipe called "Chicken & Chorizo Paella." It was supposed to be a Spanish recipe.  I tried to reproduce it.  Under my hands, however, it came out as an Italian recipe that happened to have chorizo in it!  I said to myself, "If I substituted pepperoni for the chorizo, it would be an entirely Italian dish."

It is a piatto unico (meaning, instead of a first course and second course, it is the only course).  I have made it many times; Jeanette and I love it very much.  I don't make it for guests: the place setting includes a spoon (for the orzo), a fork, a knife (for the chicken), and a separate dish (for the discarded skins and bones).  It's a dirty, oily affair, and SO tasty that one could die.  In fact, one could resuscitate the dead with this dish.  (How appropriate that I made it a couple of days before Halloween!)


8 chicken thighs (with skin and bones)
garden thyme
garden parsley
1 onion (minced)
4 garlic cloves (halved)
1 chili pepper
paprika (hot, sweet, or smoked)
saffron (optional)
a drizzle of olive oil

1 lb orzo, toasted in a dry skillet until golden (not brown)
28 oz. pealed San Marzano tomatoes (puréed in a mixer)
2 cups HOMEMADE chicken stock (recipe here)
2-4 TB red wine vinegar (for a sweeter flavor, you can use a vinegar of Marsala or Sherry)
7 oz. pepperoni, cut in medallions about 1/4" thick.


Preheat the oven to 425º. Put all of the ingredients except for the last five in a Dutch oven. (I use our beloved Le Creuset.)

Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.  (For the last few minutes, you can put it under the broiler, to make the skin crispier.)  Remove from the oven.  Add the tomatoes, stock, vinegar, and pepperoni (i.e., all the remaining ingredients except the orzo).
Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven.  Add the toasted orzo.  Return it to the oven and bake, uncovered, for exactly 8 minutes. 

Obviously, if you want to return the recipe to its Spanish roots, you can substitute the pepperoni for chorizo, as was in the original recipe.

Try whole-wheat orzo for an even more rustic flavor.

(Recipe updated & edited 10 June 2017.)

1 commento:

  1. Complimenti a entrambi per la collaborazione:-) mi raccomando aspetto nuove ricette !!