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Chicken with Orzo, Spinach and Lemon

Chicken breasts are so versatile! I never tire of the different variations possible. And this one is both easy and quick and a complete meal for busy cooks.

Serves four


1 1/2 cups orzo cooked according to package directions

1/2 cup Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

One 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well squeezed

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Grinding coarse black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons capers in salt, well rinsed and minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemon zest

4 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Combine the orzo with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Stir in 1/4 cup of the lemon juice. Salt to taste. Stir in the chopped spinach and 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover, set aside and keep warm. Or make ahead and reheat in the microwave when ready to serve.

Place each piece of chicken between two sheets of wax paper and use a meat pounder to thin them to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Mix the flour, salt and pepper together on a dish and dip each breast into the flour mixture, coating well on both sides and shaking off the excess. Set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large non stick skillet and brown the chicken, adding more olive oil as needed. Transfer them to a dish as they brown and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan and stir in the onion; cook until the onion wilts down, about 3 minutes.  Add the capers and cook 1 minute. Stir in the wine, raise the heat to high and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice and zest and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly.

Return the chicken cutlets to the pan and heat gently until hot.

Make a bed of the orzo mixture on a serving platter. Place the chicken breasts over the orzo and pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and serve. 

This recipe is featured on show 2003 – Chicken? Now!


  1. Gloria Gray's avatar

    Gloria Gray

    This is absolutely heavenly! And it is fun to make! Everyone I have served this to loves it! It is a winner!
  2. Jane's avatar


    A great recipe. I enjoyed seeing it on PBS and enjoyed making it--delicious.
  3. Jan Nicolosi's avatar

    Jan Nicolosi

    This recipe is delicious. It is easy enough to make for a family dinner after work during the week, yet it is so flavorful that you could serve it to company at a dinner party!
  4. Ted Compton's avatar

    Ted Compton

    This recipe lists parsley as an ingredient but never says what to do with it!

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