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"What's for Dinner Honey?" Chicken with Artichokes Olives and Lemon

Jen Mullen, of Jam Catering gave Betty this recipe, she brings her NY and LA chef experience to Metro South with an emphasis on fresh, intriguing ingredients made with a light touch. Jen says "This recipe happened after a trip to the Fruit Center found me with a bunch of chicken and a package of fresh baby artichokes. As usual, once I got the ingredients back to my kitchen, plans for them changed! I love artichokes, especially the tender baby ones that you can eat practically whole.  I started by scanning the fridge and shelves and found the ingredients needed to round out the dish.  I happen to have preserved lemon {see recipe below}, which I canned while living in California, but this would work with lemon zest as well. Also, in a pinch, I bet frozen artichoke hearts would make a quick replacement for the fresh".

 

Chicken w/ Artichokes, Tomato, Olives and Preserved Lemon
from Jen Mullen 

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 bone in chicken thighs {with or w/out skin}

4 bone in chicken breasts {with or w/out skin}

½-1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

12 baby artichokes

½ lemon

2 large Roma tomatoes, diced

1 large garlic clove minced

2 teaspoons  fresh thyme, minced

¼ Cup Pitted Kalamata olives {or a combo of good pitted olives}

¼ Preserved Lemon see recipe below, flesh removed and minced {or substitute zest from 1 lemon}

½ -1 cup water or chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

 Directions:

1. Prep Artichokes: Trim top third of Artichoke and remove the tough outer leaves to reveal pale, tender inner leaves.  Using pairing knife, trim rest of tough exterior and give the stem a quick peel.  Halve Artichokes and place in bowl of water with juice of ½ lemon.

2.  Season Chjcken on both side with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in heavy bottomed sautee pan over medium-high heat.  Do not let smoke.  Brown the chicken pieces, in batches, on both sides.  Remove to a plate.

3. Drain artichokes and add them to the pan.  (may need a touch more oil in the pan if you are using skinless chicken) Sear to brown on each side and add the tomatoes, garlic, olive, preserved lemon and thyme.  Sautee for 5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to get saucy.  Add the water or stock and bring to a simmer.  Return the chicken to the pan in one layer and pour in the juices collected on the plate. Bring back to a simmer, cover the pan and cook 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is firm to touch and juices run clear when pierced with a knife.

Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.  Serve with cous cous or roasted potatoes and a big green salad!

 

Preserved Lemons

10 organic lemons (nice if they are thin skinned like Meyer lemons)

10 tablespoons sea salt

The squeezed juice of 3-4 lemons

Wash and dry lemons, slice the ends off each one. Stand lemons on one end and make two vertical cuts 3/4 of the way through, as if cutting into quarters but keeping base in tact.  Stuff 1 tablespoon salt into each lemon and pack them into a large sterilized jar.  Seal jar and store lemons in a cool place for 3-4 days to soften skins, then, press the lemons down into the jar to pack even more tightly.  Pour the lemon juice over the packed lemons until they are completely covered.  Seal the jar again and store in a cool place for at least 1 month.  Rinse off the salt before using preserved lemons.