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.
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.
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.
What’s in This Lemon Chicken Stew?
In addition to making this lemon chicken recipe simple to prep, I wanted to keep the ingredients list as short as possible. Fewer ingredients means less prep work, which is always a good idea in my book. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy chicken stew:
- Canola oil
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Chicken thighs
- Chicken stock
- Lemon juice
- Orzo pasta
- Fresh tarragon
How to Make Lemon Chicken Stew
To make this lemon chicken stew recipe, you’ll first need to dredge the cubed chicken in a seasoned flour mixture. Then, brown the chicken on both sides in a large stockpot and transfer to a plate before sautéing the veggies in the same pot.
Add the chicken back into the pot, along with the stock and water. Let the stew simmer for roughly 20 minutes, then stir in the orzo pasta and continue simmering until it’s cooked through.
Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle fresh tarragon over top before serving.
Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Thighs?
Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts if desired. You could probably get away with ground chicken as well if you’re in a pinch.
Is There an Orzo Substitute I Can Use?
Readers have reported success using different types of rice in place of the orzo. Rice will likely need more time to cook though, so keep that in mind if using it.
Tips for Making Lemon Chicken Stew
For the best flavor, I prefer using my homemade chicken stock in this lemon chicken stew (which incidentally is another great gift to give new parents!). I know new parents don’t have the time to make homemade stock, so if you go the store-bought route you may want to buy a low-sodium version to prevent your chicken stew from being too salty.
Also, freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must for this recipe. The bottled stuff doesn’t hold a candle to the real deal.
This stew makes great leftovers. You can reheat this stew on the stove or in the microwave, whichever is easiest for you.
More One-Pot Meals for When You’re Short on Time
- One-Pan Chicken with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce
- One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice
- One-Pot Skinny Pasta Primavera
- One-Pot Mexican Shrimp with Orzo and Zucchini
- Homemade One-Pot Sloppy Joes
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the orzo and chicken to the stockpot and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender.
- Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with tarragon. Serve immediately.
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
Lemon Quinoa Salad with Pistachios & Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Cookin’ Canuck
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
Honey Lemon Shortbread Cookies by Rachel Cooks
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?
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
We send good emails. Subscribe to FoodieCrush and have each post plus exclusive content only for our subscribers delivered straight to your e-mail box.
As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There may be affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.