In a large “dry” skillet, toast the orzo over medium heat, stirring or tossing frequently until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Watch closely so the pasta doesn’t burn.
Add butter and olive oil to the pan. Stir in onions and garlic cook 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the onions begin to soften.
Carefully add chicken broth and rice; season with thyme and pepper, stir well to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet with lid, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 14-16 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand for 3-5 minutes; add toasted almonds and fluff with a fork. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.