Cooking the orzo in the flavorful poaching liquid adds extra punch, while the pomegranate seeds lend an unexpected crunchy texture to this easy weeknight dinner.

This recipe was featured as part of our Fall Ingredients photo gallery.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: About 1 hr

Ingredients (13)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup small-dice red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds


  1. Heat the olive oil a medium frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, garlic, and coriander, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the water and chicken, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, turning the chicken once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, add the orzo to the poaching liquid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the orzo to a large, nonreactive bowl and stir in the maple syrup, vinegar, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.