chicken with artichokes and tomatoes

Last week it dawned on my that I haven’t shared a main meal in a long time; maybe you were even beginning to think that we survived on apple ring pancakesfig tarts, and fiesta corn dip alone?  Hardly.  Though, that would be an interesting experiment…  I guess when it comes down to it,  I’m more inclined to post baked goods, apps, and breakfasts, as they are what I experiment with most during my free time on the weekends.  However, the other days of the week, I am part of a working household that tries to juggle careers, fitness goals, social lives, and, frankly, sanity.  On those five nights that I cook dinner after work, the objective usually revolves around creating something tasty and healthy, with minimal mess and time. 

Today’s meal is a weeknight savior, as, for the most part, every single ingredient is a staple in my fridge, freezer, or pantry.  To me, that’s huge.  That means no running around after work for that one ingredient I need to complete dinner, which inherently translates to gaining that extra half an hour for a run outside, catching up on Dexter, chatting it up with a friend, or enveloping myself in whatever project du jour I’ve got going on.  Time is a precious commodity.  Wouldn’t you agree?

This dish came about when that relentless weeknight query came in: “What’s for dinner?” and that night I really had no clue.  After raiding my pantry and pulling out a few of my favorite things, I ended up with this dish, which I aptly titled in my recipe catalog, “Accidental Deliciousness,” as that’s truthfully the only way to describe it.  It truly was an accident that came together spectacularly.  Hooray, me!  It’s been a weeknight staple in heavy rotation and best of all, it’s a one-pan-wonder.  Well, I’m lying a little bit.  You might want to serve it with some pasta, brown rice, or quinoa (as I do) and that would require another pot.

P.S.  Since most of you are working people with a hunger for tasty healthy dinners with reasonable ingredients and timeframes, I will make a greater effort to post more main dishes that you can enjoy on your hectic weeknights.  And, maybe you can share with me, too.  What’s your favorite meal in a pinch?

Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes
Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless  chicken breasts pounded 1/2″-thickness
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup light olive oil
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in halves
1 cup white cooking wine
3 Tbsp. capers
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.  Put flour on a dish and dunk chicken breasts in one at a time, flipping, until completely coated.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side.  The coating will turn light gold.  Do not worry about cooking chicken all the way through; it will finish in the sauce later.  Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a clean paper-towel lined plate to drain.  Set aside.  Turn off stove and remove pan from heat for about 5 minutes, allowing the oil to cool slightly.

Return pan to the stove and heat over low heat.  Add garlic and saute until soft, approximately 2 minutes, careful not to brown.  Add tomatoes and their juice, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, basil, and oregano.  Raise heat to medium and bring to a low boil.  Cook for four minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add artichoke hearts, wine, and capers.  Allow sauce to return to a low boil and then reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for ten minutes.  Return chicken to saucepan, add parsley, and simmer for 5 more minutes, turning the chicken once.  Serve immediately.

A few notes:

  • These are my kitchen staples and this recipe came about in the summertime when I had fresh basil and oregano growing on my porch.  If you do not keep fresh or “frozen fresh” basil around your house, sub in dried.  Obviously, fresh is best, but this meal is about convenience.  This particular time, I had fresh basil, but no fresh oregano.  In a pinch, dried oregano did the trick.
  •  As I mentioned above, this dish goes well with a starch (think pasta) or a seed (rice or quinoa).  I recommend quinoa and I adore it for a couple reasons:  (a) It’s so dang good for you!  (Read my quinoa rant, here) (2)  Those beautiful globules of grainy protein seem to soak up every last drip of this sauce.  No need for me to lick the plate.

4 Responses to “chicken with artichokes and tomatoes”

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  1. Claudie says:

    Wow. Beautiful and awesome dish. I often cook chicken with tomatoes, love artichokes, and have almost daily quinoa. You are combining all of this into one dish!!! Absolutely trying this, thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    This looks delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe next week! I am looking forward to more main dish recipes!

  3. Melissa says:

    Great post Alyss! I had the pleasure of tasting this dish right from the chef and it was delicious!

  4. Betsy says:

    You sound just like me feeling like time is a commodity, and this meal looks very similar to what we eat in our house most nights. I’m all about using up what you have on hand (I’m also all about buying fancy ingredients to make something great sometimes too!) We’d love it if you would link up your recipe at March is artichoke month!

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