How to make Joe Wicks’ chicken and orzo rat-a-tat bake

This could easily become a go-to staple.

Batch-cooking is a no-brainer, to prep ahead for those days when you simply don’t have the time or energy for the kitchen – and Joe Wicks’ chicken and orzo rat-a-tat bake can be frozen, ready to heat up when you need it.

Orzo – which looks a bit like rice but is actually a type of pasta – bulks out this herby dish, so it’s perfect post-exercise ‘carb-refuel’ fodder. And very tasty too.

(Serves 4)

  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 courgette, trimmed and diced (250g)
  • 1 aubergine, trimmed and diced (250g)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 250g orzo
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 200g chicken breasts, cut into 1cm slices
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • Small bunch of chives, finely chopped


How to Make

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/gas mark 6).

2. Melt half of the oil in a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over a medium to high heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute, then throw in the courgette, aubergine, oregano, thyme and two chopped garlic cloves. Fry, stirring regularly for five minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.

3. Add the tomato puree and orzo and mix to combine. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock and bring the mixture quickly to the boil, stirring regularly. Put the lid on and slide the dish into the oven.

4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the sliced chicken and the remaining chopped garlic clove. Stir-fry the chicken so that it is virtually cooked through – it is more important at this stage to colour the meat than to cook it through.

5. Sprinkle in the paprika along with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss the whole lot together.

6. Remove the pasta from the oven and carefully take off the lid, stir in the chicken, slide the lid back on and bake the whole lot together for 10 more minutes.

7. After 10 minutes, take the dish from the oven and stir through the parsley and chives. Serve straight from the dish to the masses.

Joe’s 30 Minute Meals: 100 Quick And Healthy Recipes by Joe Wicks is published by Bluebird, priced £20. Available now.

Find more delicious recipes from Around Town magazines: Recipes