When you’re in need of a quick weeknight meal that uses as few dishes as possible, this lemon chicken with kale is the answer. All cooked in one skillet, this recipe combines marinated chicken with wilted kale, orzo, olives, red onion, and feta for a bright yet filling dish. Whether it’s the middle of winter or hot summer, it’s a serious winner.
Place the chicken breast in a small bowl, zip-top bag, or any airtight container. Add the dried oregano, dried dill, black pepper, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to combine and evenly coat the chicken in the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
For the skillet meal
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat 2 tbsp of neutral oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the marinated chicken breasts. Brown the breasts on both sides but do not cook fully, 3-4 minutes per side. Once the chicken is browned, remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
Adjust the heat to medium-low and add the onion and sauté until softened, 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and stir until warmed, 1 minute. Add the kale and sauté until the kale is glossy and wilted, 2-3 minutes.
Once the kale is wilted, add the prepared olives, orzo, and chicken stock. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once the liquid is simmering, turn off the heat. Nestle the browned chicken breasts in the orzo mixture along with any juices. Place the skillet in the preheated 350°F oven. Bake until the orzo is tender and the chicken reaches 160°F, 15-22 minutes.
Once baked, remove the skillet from the oven and allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes before garnishing it with fresh dill and feta cheese.
Rather than mincing the garlic and adding it to the chicken to marinate, use a garlic press instead. This will ensure that the pieces of garlic are super small and any juices from the garlic are also in the marinade as well.
The chicken should be marinated for at least 30 minutes but for no longer than two hours. If the oil and lemon juice sit with the chicken for an extended amount of time, the cell walls of the chicken could break down too much, creating chicken breasts that are mushy.
When adding the red onion to the skillet, do not be concerned about the brown bits that were left in the oil from the chicken. Those bits are flavor that will be worked together with the onion and everything else that’s added to the skillet later. It’s flavor, and you want it!
While the chicken rests outside the skillet, some of the juices will pool on the plate. Do not throw these juices out! When adding the chicken back to the skillet before it goes into the oven, pour the collected juices on top and mix into the skillet. This is additional flavor that should not be wasted.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 598kcal
One Skillet Lemon Chicken with Orzo & Kale by Kaleb Wyse