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harissa spiced chicken thighs in white skillet with olives and orzo

Harissa Spiced Chicken With Olives and Orzo

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 45m
  • Total Time: 55m
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This ONE PAN harissa spiced chicken with olives and orzo is incredibly delicious. Tender, juicy, and flavorful chicken thighs meet orzo pasta, castelvetrano olives, and crumbled feta. Weeknight winner!


  • 4 bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs, excess skin trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon harissa spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup pitted/halved castelvetrano olives
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • freshly chopped parsley for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl; combine the chicken thighs, harissa spice blend, salt, and olive oil together. Use your hands (with disposable gloves, if desired) to rub the spices into the chicken all over. Gently lift the chicken skin and be sure to rub the spices under there as well. Then cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and transfer it into the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Using a large oven-safe cast iron skillet (at least 10-inches or larger), melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is sizzling, add in the chicken thighs, skin side down (don’t overcrowd the pan, cook in batches if you need to). Cook the chicken thighs on both sides for about 10 minutes. Then transfer the cooked chicken to a cleaned plate. Note: the chicken will likely not be cooked through completely but will finish cooking through later.
  4. Add in the remaining four tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is sizzling, add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute while stirring throughout. Then toss in the orzo and stir together and allow the orzo to lightly toast for about 2-3 minutes. Next, deglaze the pan by adding in the wine and stir around. Add in the stock and lemon juice, and allow the mixture to come up to a boil; cooking for about 4-6 minutes, while stirring together every so often until the orzo cooks through.
  5. Add the chicken thighs along with any residual juices back into the same skillet. Transfer the uncovered skillet into the oven to cook for another 10-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely. Remove the skillet from the oven and carefully nestle in the olives.
  6. Serve the chicken with orzo and olives and garnish with crumbled feta cheese and parsley. Enjoy!


  1. Storing: This dish will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container.
  2. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks. 

Keywords: one pan, chicken, orzo, olives, easy