Place chicken thighs in a large bowl and add enough water to cover the chicken by about one inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, lemon slices, and sage leaves to the water and gently stir everything with a large spoon. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour.
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and remove each piece of chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brining liquid but be sure to reserve the sage leaves.
Season chicken thighs on each side with salt & pepper, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, and smoked paprika. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and place chicken thighs in skillet, smooth side down.
Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes, until a golden crust forms, then flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side. Use tongs to transfer chicken to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Add butter to the same skillet that you cooked the chicken in. Once the butter has melted, add shallot, sage leaves, and garlic and cook for about a minute.
Add orzo to the skillet and cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly, to lightly toast orzo. Be careful not to scorch the sage leaves. Add chicken stock to the skillet and give everything a good stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Bring orzo to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken thighs back to the skillet with the orzo, smooth side facing up. Simmer orzo and chicken, uncovered for 10-12 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and orzo is al dente.
Remove pan from heat and allow the dish to cool for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and herbs. Enjoy!