Chicken kokkinisto with orzo pasta

    1 hour 25 min

    In this glorious Greek dish, chicken is braised in a rich tomato sauce with orzo pasta. Top with a grated hard Greek cheese, such as Mizithra or Kefalotyri, or any other hard and salty cheese, such as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.

    30 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 chicken legs, rinsed and patted dry
    • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
    • 400g passata
    • 450ml water
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 pinch ground cloves
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste
    • 450g uncooked orzo pasta

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:1hr15min  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

    1. Warm the oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Cook the onion in the hot oil until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Brown the chicken legs in the pot on all sides. Add the garlic; cook and stir for about 1 minute. Pour the passata and water over the chicken. Drop the bay leaves into the pot. Season with cloves, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to medium-how; allow the mixture to simmer until the chicken meat is very tender and begins to pull off the bone, about 45 minutes.
    2. Stir the orzo into the liquid in the pot and cook until the orzo is soft, another 15 to 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves to serve.

    Orzo pasta

    You can find orzo pasta at some larger supermarkets, like Waitrose. Merchant Gourmet is a good brand.

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    Reviews in English (15)


    Followed recipe to the letter and the sauce was initially very flavoursome and smelled fab but once the orzo was added, it was unfortunately very bland. Rescued it by adding chorizo And rosemary otherwise i would have probably thrown the pasta in the bin. Chicken was tasty though.  -  27 Sep 2012


    Great base for a classic Greek dish. I used chicken breasts instead of legs. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and then seared. I removed chicken and sauteed my onions and garlic with a little white wine deglaze. Instead of water, I used chicken broth and also added one can diced tomatoes and one can of tomato paste. After I returned my chicken to my dutch oven, I finished off the dish in the oven at 325 for about 2 hours (adding 1 cup uncooked orzo during the last 30 minutes). Plate and top with crumbled feta and some fresh diced basil. YUM!!!!  -  21 Apr 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I am giving this recipe 4 stars for potential and ease of preparation, and perhaps 3 stars for taste as written. I halved the recipe and used 4 chicken thighs. Having tasted the mixture before serving and finding it pretty bland, I added about 1 tsp dried oregano, about 1/2 tsp dried mint, about 1/2 tsp chili flakes, a good shake of spicy herbamare which is a spicy salt mixture-probably not really needed. I let the dish simmer for a few extra minutes at this point. I also minced 3 more cloves of garlic and added just before serving. I had used one standard (about 375mls) can of plain tomato sauce, about half a can of water, then added about 3/4 cup of long grain rice as I did not have orzo on hand. Also next time I make this I will certainly take the skin off of the chicken either after browning, or before starting the recipe. So, I did change the recipe quite a bit and of course this is only due to personal taste but I do appreciate having the chance to try it out. We will be making it again as it is a relatively fast meal. Thank you for posting this dimitra.  -  21 Oct 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)