I'm pretty sure that I don't even need to do an introduction for this post since most people are just going to skip it and go straight to the recipe anyway. I mean, the title alone establishes that it's got ALL the things going for it - it uses one pan, it's super flavorful and a little spicy, it's got good-for-you green stuff in there, AND it's a pasta dish! What more could you possibly need in a weeknight dinner? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
So let's get cooking, shall we?
One-Pan Harissa Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprout and Kale Orzo
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup orzo pasta
2 tablespoons Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon peel, for garnish (optional but highly recommended)
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Season chicken thighs all over with salt and pepper. Heat a 12-inch (or other oven-safe) skillet over medium-high. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs, skin side down and cook undisturbed until the skin is golden and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Flip the thighs over and cook another 5 minutes before transferring the chicken to a bowl.
Add the brussels sprouts to the skillet, cut side down and cook undisturbed until nicely browned. Transfer the browned brussels sprouts to the bowl with the chicken. Lower the heat to medium, add the shallot to the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the orzo and the Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend and stir to coat. Add the chicken stock and turn the heat up to bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the skillet, and cook until pasta has absorbed about half of the liquid, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the kale and then add the brussels sprouts back to the skillet. Use the back of a spoon to make sure everything is evenly distributed and the pasta is covered before nestling the chicken thighs into the skillet, skin side up.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the chicken skin is crispy, and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F, about 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle preserved lemon over the top and serve, preferably with a juicy Syrah, like this one from Zaca Mesa Winery, or a fruity Grenache, like this one from Andrew Murray Vineyards, both in Santa Barbara County.