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artichoke-chicken-3Photo Credit: Lori Sandoval

I love artichokes. But I didn’t always. The thing is I didn’t taste them for the first time until I was in my early 20’s when my better half introduced me to the wonderful taste of artichoke hearts.

Shortly after, I was off to study abroad in Italy where this leafy globe commonly flavors the Italian cuisine. That is precisely when I went bananas for all things artichoke. I indulged almost daily in artichoke bruschetta, grilled artichoke leaves, or simply sautéed artichoke hearts drizzled with olive oil and a lemon wedge. I was in artichoke heaven!
artichoke-chicken-1

Photo Credit: Lori Sandoval

One of the awesome things I enjoyed while living in Florence was meeting friends at a bar or café for "aperitivo."

Aperitivo is the occasion of going out for a pre-dinner drink in the evening where the beverage is light in alcohol. In theory, it’s meant to stimulate your appetite by enjoying a specific selection of libations: Prosecco, Negroni, or a Campari or Aperol spritz. But what dazzles me the most about aperitivo is the selection of bites that accompany these drinks. The bar will put out a spread of nuts, olives, sometimes cheese and salumi that are included in the price of your aperitivo beverage.

After much research, I found the right place for our daily aperitivo. I would meet my amici at the bar near my apartment which had a very generous spread. Unlike many other spots, this one not only included the usual items, but it also offered marinated artichokes and pickled mushrooms. Bonus.

Frankly, this was the inspiration for this recipe. Artichokes and mushrooms have become a favorite combination of mine since. So here you have it, a perfectly braised chicken in a creamy sauce made with baby portabella mushrooms and marinated artichoke hearts. braised-chicken-with-mushrooms-and-artichokes-2

Photo Credit: Lori Sandoval

I love this recipe because if I’m trying to be good, I can always pair it with any kind of sautéed green and a side of steamed white rice, or if I’m feeling gluttonous, I serve it over a bed of linguine pasta. Anyway you decide to enjoy it, this recipe will become one of your favorites.  Buon Apetito!

Ingredients

  • 6- 8 chicken pieces (I used thighs and drumsticks)
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. mushrooms cut in quarters; baby portabella or cremini or any combination of mushrooms in season.
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 10 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Pat chicken pieces with a paper towel to absorb any moisture.  Season chicken to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken pieces to pan skin side down and allow chicken to sear until skin has turned crispy brown, approximately 7 minutes.  Turn pieces meat side down and cook for an additional minute, remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate.  Work in batches if necessary.
  3. Lower heat to a low medium and sauté shallots and garlic for a minute, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and thyme with a pinch of salt and cook for another 2 minutes, continue to stir.
  4. Slowly mix in chicken stock, stirring and making sure to scrape off brown bits from the pan. Stir in another pinch of salt, and bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice and stir well.  Return chicken pieces to pan and simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked through; for white meat, approximately 15-20 minutes, for dark meat cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, add artichoke hearts and cream.  Stir gently to combine well and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve with rice, cooked greens, or pasta.

For more of Lori's recipes, visit www.cocinachronicles.com.

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