My Mom’s Chicken and Artichokes ranks right near the top of my most favorite meals as a kid. As soon as she got out the 1980’s dark brown West Bend Electric Skillet with the cream-colored top, I knew the Fucci family was in store for most likely one of two dishes: Chop Suey or Chicken and Artichokes. Both fantastic…but, don’t get me wrong, Chicken and Artichokes deservedly takes the top spot!
I have always a big fan of artichokes. Both my folks loved them too so anytime they were on sale, we would be lucky enough to have a big ol’ stuffed artichoke. I loved peeling back each of the savory ‘leaves’ and dipping them in butter before scraping off as much of the pulpy portion of the petals as humanly possible. That’s right. I said petals. Did you know that an artichoke is the flower bud of a Thistle…before it blooms??? Yep, you’re basically eating a flower.
And the best part of that flower…everyone say it with me…the heart! That’s why I love Chicken and Artichokes…because all we are using is the innermost delicate part of the Artichoke…those super soft petals and that prized fleshy heart. Throw a little butter on there and man-oh-man, we have got something special.
For this recipe, you can use any kind of boneless chicken that you like. As I tend to gravitate towards the leaner cuts, I think breasts or tenders work the best for this recipe. But, by all means, you can use boneless thighs too.
As for the mushrooms, I like using Cremini mushrooms. Trivia time again: Do you know what a Cremini mushroom is? Well, it’s not much different than a white-button mushroom. Both of them are the same species of mushrooms, agaricus bisporus…with the Cremini mushroom being of a different strain that produces a darker outer color and a subtly richer, heartier taste. Because of the darker color, I like to use Cremini mushrooms in this recipe because it helps darken the color of the sauce, which I think looks great. But white-button mushrooms work just fine.
If you were to let the Cremini mushroom grow longer, the cap will expand and voila, you have a Portobello mushroom! So you could even use a Portobello for this dish, slicing them into thicker slices. Works great but it tends to make it a bit more expensive to make!
Overall, though, this is a pretty inexpensive dish despite it’s ingredients. Cremini are just the same as standard white button. If you pick up the chicken on sale, really, the most expensive part of this recipe are the artichoke hearts. You can usually pick up a 14 – 16 ounce can for $2.50 – $5.00. Maybe a little more than you might spend on the usual canned vegetable, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. And speaking of a buck, if you’re lucky, you might be able to score a can for a buck at the local dollar store…so give them a call.
With the tenders, there’s no cutting up chicken. It’s just season, dredge and sauté. Easy! Another 45 minutes in the oven and dinner is ready. During that time, you can whip up some rice or my favorite, Israeli Couscous, which is the larger couscous, about the size of a BB. Serve the Chicken and Artichokes over the rice or couscous and enjoy!
I hope you give this Chicken and Artichoke recipe a whirl and let me know which mushrooms you decide to use.
Chicken and Artichoke
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Slice Mushrooms.
- If Artichoke Hearts are large (fewer than 8 to 10 per pound), cut them in half or quarters.
- Season Chicken Tenders on both sides with Salt, Pepper and Paprika.
- Dredge seasoned Chicken Tenders in flour, shaking off the excess.
- Add 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil to a Frying Pan over Medium heat. Add Chicken Tenders to the Frying Pan.
- Cook until Tenders start to turn opaque around the edges and they are golden brown on the bottom.
- Turn over and brown Tenders on the other side (Note: you do not have to fully cook the Chicken Tenders at this point. You just want to make sure they are browned on both sides.
- Remove Chicken Tenders from the pan.
- Add remaining 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil to the pan. Add Mushroom until they start to soften. Add Artichokes. Cook for 2 minutes.
- 10. Add Sherry and Chicken Stock. Turn up heat to High to bring to boil and then turn off the heat.
- 11. Butter Casserole Dish with half of the Butter.
- 12. Add Chicken Tenders to buttered Casserole Dish. Arrange Artichokes around the Chicken. Pour Mushrooms and Chicken Stock evenly on top.
- 13. Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven.
- 14. Place remaining Butter evenly on top of each of the Artichokes.