Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artichoke Chicken

Near the beginning of high school, my parents jumped on the high protein and vegetable diet train and I was forced to partake as well(unless I wanted to spend all of my babysitting money on food). They were advocates of the Swarzbein principle. Along with this "principle" came many books, some including some recipes. There was a recipe for "Artichoke Chicken Sauce" which we loved. My mom made it often and recruited me to start making it. I would experiment a little with the flavors and soon enough my mom had dubbed me official Artichoke Chicken Sauce maker(I don't really think it was because it was so spectacular when I made it, I think this was just an evil parenting technique).

I have made the recipe so often that it has kind of warped into a totally new thing. And I just have to share it. It is too good to just keep to myself.

For 4 generous servings:

1 T butter
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 lb chicken breasts
1- 1 1/2 c marinated artichoke hearts
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 c- 1 c evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream(use more if you are using as a sauce, and less if eating plain)
2 t lemon juice or zest
Dash of Cayenne pepper(..or more... ,or omit)
1 T Dried basil
black pepper and salt

1. Coat chicken with 1 T Dijon mustard and black pepper. Set aside to marinate.
2. Roast the red pepper, peel skin off, and cut into 1 inch strips. (If peppers are $1 or more, just buy a jar of roasted red peppers which are by the pickles. It is much cheaper, and a lot less work)
3. On Med heat, melt butter in skillet and add onions, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 t black pepper. Saute until very tender then add garlic. Cook with garlic for about 3o seconds.
4. Add artichoke hearts along with a few T of the marinating juice they come packed in. Then add 1 1/2 T mustard, cayenne pepper, lemon juice or zest, and basil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Grill chicken. Let sit for at least 3 minutes after cooking before cutting.
6. Add evaporated milk to skillet, let cook for about 1 min. Turn off heat and add chicken.
7. Serve over spaghetti or angel hair pasta, or plain!

When eating plain: I like to add more onions which act kind of like a substitute pasta. I also don't cut up my artichoke hearts(which usually are already quartered) and chop my chicken into large pieces.
When eating with pasta: I like to cut the artichoke hearts into smaller pieces than packed, and cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.
Evaporated milk/ heavy cream: I have been using evaporated milk for a while now. I like it becuase it is less fattening, I can always have in on hand, and it is usually cheaper. If you want to use cream, you can add it sooner and let it cook longer.
Amounts: These amounts are just estimates, I never measure. I probably use more mustard and black pepper than listed, but I am being conservative in my estimates.