Lemon Chicken Stew and a Virtual Baby Shower

by heidi on October 14, 2013

A one-pot dinner is a must-make meal for any new mom and dad. And with a lemony twist on the classic chicken and rice soup—this time with orzo pasta that helps thicken this flavor-filled cooking bonanza—my Lemon Chicken Stew, is a spunked up contribution to a virtual baby shower for my fellow food blogger Liz at The Lemon Bowl.

Lemon Chicken Stew | FoodieCrush.com

Every mom needs to catch a break, especially in the kitchen. While I’m a lover of the cookin’, I’m not much of a fan of the washin’.

That’s why this Lemon Chicken Stew is the perfect one-pot dinner—with leftovers for the next day—for any new mom and dad ready to pucker up and kiss those newborn baby toes.

One pot, that’s all. Dinner is served.

Lemon Chicken Stew | FoodieCrush.com

I met Liz of The Lemon Bowl when we were visiting the farmers who put Dole Salads onto dinner tables across America, and I was immediately drawn to her wit and punchy personality. This girl has charisma to spare.

So when a group of food bloggers invited me to join in her virtual baby shower party I was more than happy to join the party.

In my opinion, baby butt wipe warmers and all of the other needless baby junk can easily be bypassed at the typical baby registry. What really counts as a present is keeping mom and dad out of the kitchen so they can grab some zzz’s and spend their time where they should and shouldn’t be: away from the dish soap, and instead, snuggling with their baby love.

Liz already has a toddler to keep her busy, so with a new babe on the way, I had a feeling a dish that is a minimizer in the kitchen but is full of comfort is a sure winner in these new parentals’ cookbook.

Did I mention it’s her birthday this week too? This is a serious double header.

Lemon Chicken Stew | FoodieCrush.com

Lemon Chicken Stew | FoodieCrush.com

Following are a list of other food bloggers who’ve cooked up something special for Liz. Do you sense a theme? Yep, it’s all lemon, all day, every meal.

Pucker up baby, you’ve got some serious kisses coming your way. Congratulations Liz, and here’s to a safe and very welcoming delivery.


Whipped Feta Spread with Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary by Miss in the Kitchen
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” in a Lemon Cup with Smoked Paprika  by Climbing Grier Mountain
Lemon Basil Bruschetta by Dine & Dish
Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries w/ Lemon Basil Aioli by What’s Gaby Cooking
Lemon Garlic Herb Marinated Olives by Sarah’s Cucina Bella
Kalamata Olive and Feta Dip with Baked Lemon Pepper Pita Chips by Aggie’s Kitchen
Creamy Asparagus Guacamole  by The Healthy Apple


Sparkling Honey Rosemary Lemonade by Nutmeg Nanny
Basil Hibiscus Lemonade by Fabtastic Eats
Jam Mocktails: Lemon & Pineapple  by Cooking with Books
Lemon Jalapeno Spritzers by Bev Cooks
Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade by Crumbs and Chaos
Limonana (Middle Eastern Frozen Mint Lemonade) by An Edible Mosaic
Tipsy Lemonade Iced Tea by Family Fresh Cooking


Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing by Thrifty Veggie Mama
Lemon Quinoa Salad with Pistachios & Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Cookin’ Canuck
Greek Salad with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette by Gimme Some Oven
Pear Quinoa Salad by Reluctant Entertainer
Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing by The Lean Green Bean
Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad by MomAdvice
Herbed Calamari Salad with Preserved Lemons by Everyday Maven

Main Dish

Italian Lemon Roast Chicken Pot by Eat2Gather
Roasted Lemon Garlic Cocktail Shrimp by Simply Scratch
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Tostada by A Zesty Bite
Lemon Pepper Shrimp Linguine by Taste and Tell
Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter by Handle the Heat
Chicken Saltimbocca with Lemon Cream Sauce and Olive Orzo by Baker by Nature


Honey Lemon Shortbread Cookies by Rachel Cooks
Lemon Blueberry Macarons by Chocolate & Carrots

Wish I was there in person to make each and every one of these dishes for dear Liz. Instead, I’ll give a few a go for me and the fam and teleport them telegraphically. That’ll work, right?

Lemon Chicken Stew

Yield: serves 6-8

Lemon Chicken Stew


5 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup orzo pasta
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped


  1. In an 8-quart casserole stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat. Add the flour to a shallow bowl and season with about 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess and place half of the chicken in the stockpot but do not overcrowd. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side then transfer the chicken to a bowl. Brown the remaining chicken in 2 more tablespoons of the oil.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the carrots, celery and onion to the stockpot and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the sliced leek and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the orzo and chicken to the stockpot and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with tarragon. Season immediately.

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Posted in: chicken and turkey,recipes,soups and stews

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

ashley - baker by nature October 14, 2013 at 4:08 am

This looks amazing!!! It’s so chilly here this morning, and I’m totally dreaming of this on the stove ;)


Caroline @ chocolate & carrots October 14, 2013 at 4:36 am

What a beautiful dish Heidi! I’m betting this would be a good cure for the common cold this time of year. :D It was a pleasure bringing goodies with you to Liz’s shower! :D


Tieghan October 14, 2013 at 6:33 am

Oh man, this looks so good and perfect for this time of year! I am craving soup and warm foods like crazy! I love this fresh and healthy spin too. Plus, I bet Liz with love it!


Rachel Cooks October 14, 2013 at 7:21 am

“Charisma to spare.” Describes Liz perfectly and this stew is beyond perfect. It looks amazing! I’m putting it on my menu this week.


Amanda October 14, 2013 at 7:38 am

I could not agree with you more. When our fifth baby came this past May, some wonderful friends from church had stocked our freezer. It’s been such a blessing! So I think I will be adding this recipe to my “food for friends” list. I love the idea of it being so easy yet so beautiful and delicious!!


Barbara @ Barbara Bakes October 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

It looks delicious. I love the way lemon brightens up soups.


Liz @ The Lemon Bowl October 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

You know I can’t resist anything lemon and chicken soup!! Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful dish to my virtual shower, Heidi! So lucky to have met you this year and to call you a friend. THANK YOU! xoxo


Denise October 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

I’m totally craving this stew now. The weather here in the Netherlands is terrible – grey and rainy – so I bet this stew will cheer me up and provide me with a bowl of comfort. Love it!

Hope all is well with you, Heidi. It’s great to see all the things you’re working on. You’re doing so great with foodiecrush! Really excited for you.


Liz October 14, 2013 at 9:31 am

Nice recipe. Thank you.


claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

I lOVE this!!!


Sandy Coughlin October 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

This stew is perfect for fall! Love it! Thanks for participating. : )


Meagan @ A Zesty Bite October 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm

What a great one pot recipe for Liz’s shower. I wouldn’t mind face planting in this pot myself!


The Healthy Apple October 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Gurrrrrrrrrrrrl; I miss you and I need this stew asap. OMG love it Heidi. xoxoxx Have a great week!!!


Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Wonderful one pot meal!


Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough October 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Mm mm mm mm mmmmmm! Love me a refreshing, simple soup, yessir yes ma’am.


Lauren Grier @ (Climbing Grier Mountain) October 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Um, yes and yes!! I’ll be over in 5!


Erie October 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Can this be made with boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs?


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm

A one-pot dinner? You’re totally speaking my language, Heidi! I got hit with a cold from Iowa so I could definitely get cozy with this pot!


Laurie {Simply Scratch} October 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm

This is my comfort food… I just wanna curl up with a blanket and big-o-bowl of this stew and cuddle it. Gorgeous!


Des October 14, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Love this stew! It looks perfect for these crisp fall days we’ve been having.


Deborah October 15, 2013 at 12:32 am

You are so smart to make a one pot meal! I’m totally digging this stew.


Erin @ Texanerin Baking October 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

YES! I’m not a mother but when friends have babies, they get cookie dough they can freeze, a lasagna they can cool or something like that. Why buy them something they probably have and don’t need? Nope. They’re getting food!

And this looks awesome! Too bad we don’t live near Liz so we could drop off goodies. ;)


Angie | Big Bear's Wife October 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

This Chicken stew looks amazing! Love the photos!


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking October 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Lemon, thyme, and chicken is one of my favorite combos!!! I need some new soups to try this winter!


Jackie Anderson October 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Just made this for my family and it was DELISH!! (Although, not so carb-friendly as far as soups go – we have a Type 1 kiddo in the clan) However, so nice to have a fresh take on the classic chicken noodle – thanks so much for the recipe; hope the new mamma LOVED it!


heidi October 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

So glad you liked it, and it can definitely be adapted to fit any diet. Thanks for sharing!


Patti October 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm

This was amazing, the way the lemon and tarragon brightened and finished off the oniony chicken made my taste buds so happy.
Thank you for sharing this recipe,


Pattie October 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Cooked this tonight & it’s delicious! I wonder how a splash of white wine would taste in it.


Jessica November 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

This recipe looks sooo deliciou. Can it be made in a slow cooker you think? How would i add the rice to it? xx


joanni November 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

loved your lemon chicken, will definitely be doing it again . .


regalos para bebes November 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

Then in no time at all, you will have your graduation
scrapbook all set. For bottle fed babies, purchase
formula with probiotics to help your baby break down the milk better.
Susan soon realized that this was something that so many other mums and babies needed too.


Jennifer U November 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

Made this last night. I had a whole chicken to use so I roasted that first, then made homemade stock. Increased the lemon a touch and added some zest. Otherwise the same and I have to say it was DELICIOUS. Will definitely be a regular soup for us. My normally picky 12 year old couldn’t get enough of this goodness and kept thanking me for dinner. That’s almost unheard of :) Thanks for this recipe.


Nicole December 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I made this tonight with a few substitutions: basmati brown rice instead of orzo (we were out and I used half a cup more), shallots instead of onions (I prefer the flavor), and oregano instead of tarragon. I’m Greek so I added a lot of extra lemon and twice the amount of chicken broth (since the rice is very absorbent) and the family and I were very pleased with this stew! I will definitely make again =)


Gretchen Steffes December 6, 2013 at 2:48 am

I have the same question as ‘Jessica’: can this stew be done in a slow cooker, and, at what point does one add the orzo/rice.


Elaine January 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Just made this tonight. It was VERY tasty but instead of adding the lemon juice at the end, I just cooked half of a lemon in the stew and it turned out great. And I added oregano ’cause I love it with all of the lemon flavor. Thanks!


Chantal January 21, 2014 at 4:07 am

This was delicious. Very simple, classic flavours and the lemon and tarragon gives it an extra dimension. Loved the Orso pasta (or Rissoni as we call it in Australia). I added the zest of one whole lemon and the juice of one whole lemon for extra kick. I added the zest when I added the garlic. I also added extra garlic, but that’s a personal taste thing :) Mixed through extra tarragon and lemon juice at the end. Delicious! Thanks for sharing :


Amy April 25, 2014 at 3:38 am

2 tbs of tarragon WAY over powering! Made it tonight & family gave it


Katlyn July 13, 2014 at 5:38 am

Does anyone know if you can freeze the leftovers? I wasn’t sure if the lemon would freeze badly. Thanks!


Lauren July 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Love this…I just added the whole box of the Orso..but I wish I put LESS in. I also added a lot more lemon!! And Yes you can freeze it!!


Lauren Massarella October 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

This recipe looks delicious!!! Would it be ok to use olive oil instead of canola? Thank you!


Colleen October 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Can this be made in a crockpot?


heidi October 13, 2014 at 11:11 pm

I don’t see why you couldn’t make it in the crockpot. I bet it would still be delicious.


Genie November 10, 2014 at 11:36 am

I made this in the crockpot overnight last night. I used herbes de provence because I love that seasoning with chicken, and after reading the comments, also added a little white wine. I thought 3 tbsp. lemon would be too strong, so I used 2, but next time I think I will do 3. I put the orzo in this morning for about 20 minutes and it was cooked perfectly. I didn’t use the tarragon because I didn’t have any, but I did stir in a couple handfuls of fresh baby spinach this morning also, which wilted very quickly. I may also add some chopped mushrooms next time. As another commenter did, I used boneless chicken breasts (whole) and shredded them this morning after cooking.
SO TASTY and made the best lunch ever. Thanks for the recipe! I can easily see this becoming a regular in the rotation. :)


Angela November 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

I absolutely LOVE this stew!!! What an amazing flavor, yet simple to make. I’ve made it 4 times in the last 2 months :) My only tweak was that I add now the lemon zest from the lemon too…a bit more tang!


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