Skillet Chicken Marsala & Orzo

One skillet dinners are so popular and with good reason!  Easy, quick perfect for weeknights and elevated enough to serve family-syle over the weekend!  I developed this recipe with all of my favorite flavors in one place.  It’s not Chicken Marsala in the traditional sense, but this Skillet Chicken Marsala & Orzo incorporates all of the traditional flavors that you know and love!  Serving it over orzo is a perfect way to soak up all of the delicious juices.

Chicken thighs are perfect for this recipe because you can sear them but then braise them in liquid to cook completely without drying them out.  If you’d like to use white meat or chicken breasts, I would suggest pounding the chicken breasts to equal thickness so that they cook evenly.  Another alternative is to use skinless/boneless chicken thighs.  Either way, braising it in chicken stock over the orzo allows it to cook through and it will stay juicy and tender.  A perfect family style meal your family will love!

Skillet Chicken Marsala & Orzo

Quick & Easy One Skillet Chicken Marsala & Orzo, full of flavor and perfect for busy weeknight or elegant enough for a weekend dinner!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 2-4 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
  • 6 Oz. Diced Pancetta
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 8 Oz. Cremini Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 6 Chicken Thighs with skin or boneless & skinless
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Marsala Wine
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Lb. Orzo
  • 1/2 Tbs. Porcini Mushroom Powder optional
  • 1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley chopped, for garnish
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Chives chopped, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • In a large skillet with deep sides, heat to medium and add 2 Tbs. EVOO.
  • Add diced pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally until fat has rendered and pancetta is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • To the same skillet, add 2 Tbs. of butter to the pancetta drippings and add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes over medium heat until mushrooms are browned along the edges (add a little more EVOO to the skillet, if needed.)
  • Add minced shallot and garlic to the mushrooms, stir to combine. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Remove to a separate bowl and reserve.
  • Heat the same skillet back to medium high. While the pan preheats, sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then add additional 1-2 Tbs. of EVOO to the skillet.
  • Cook the chicken about 4 minutes, undisturbed, flip and cook for another 4 minutes, then remove chicken to a plate.
  • Add 1-2 Tbs. of EVOO and the orzo to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper and porcini mushroom powder (if desired). Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Turn flame off, add Marsala wine and scrape the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat back to a medium high to reduce and burn off the alcohol. Allow to simmer until Marsala is reduced by half, then add in the chicken stock.
  • Add the mushroom mixture and chicken thighs back to the skillet, tucking it halfway into the orzo. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cooked pancetta, reserve the remaining for garnish.
  • Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • When finished, remove the lid and garnish with the remaining pancetta and fresh chopped parsley and chives. Serve.


  • You can use Chicken Thighs or Skinless/Boneless Chicken Thighs.  If you use chicken on the bone, add another 10 minutes to cooking time to cook through.
  • At the end of the cooking process, if there is still liquid in the orzo, remove the lid and cook for 5 additional minutes.  A little liquid is ok, once it comes out of the oven and rests, it will absorb.
Keyword Aly's Elegant Eats Chicken Marsala & Orzo, Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Easy Entertaining, Fall Recipe, One Skillet Dinner, Weeknight Cooking


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