Braised Artichokes à la Barigoule
Celebrate artichoke season with this recipe from Chef Thomas Keller, his take on a traditional Provençal favorite. This dish is equally good served warm or at room temperature.
- 4 lemons
- 6 large artichokes
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) olive oil
- 2 large onions, halved and cut into 1/8-inch (3-mm) slices
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8-inch (3-mm)
- 2 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) chicken stock, or as needed
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 stems from fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 anchovy, rinsed and minced
- 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Fill a large mixing bowl half full with water. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice of three of the lemons into the water. Begin trimming the artichokes by grasping an artichoke by the stem with one hand and using your other hand to carefully pull the leaves back until they snap off. Begin snapping the small leaves at the stem and work your way around until the tender pale yellow leaves are exposed. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. Next, cut the stem of an artichoke off where it meets the base and rub the cut surface with the cut lemon to prevent it from discoloring. Turn the artichoke on its side and cut the yellow leaves from the base where they meet the heart. Discard the leaves. Hold the artichoke heart in your hand with the stem side down and use a sharp paring knife to trim away the tough outer green layer from the sides of the heart. It helps to turn the artichoke with your hand while keeping the knife in place. Turn the artichoke over so that the stem faces up and trim away the dark green from the base at roughly a 45-degree angle until only light-colored flesh remains. Rub the artichoke heart thoroughly with the lemon. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to scrape out the fuzzy choke from the center of the heart. Immediately immerse the artichoke into the lemon water. Repeat the trimming process with the remaining artichokes.
Heat an 8-quart (8-l) rondeau or sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and 1 tsp. of the salt. Sauté the onions, stirring frequently, until they begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot, garlic and another 1 tsp. salt, then cover the rondeau and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
Drain the artichokes and arrange them, stem side up, on top of the vegetables and cook for about 30 seconds. Turn the artichokes over and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the white wine, quickly bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock to cover the artichokes by about 1/2 inch (12-mm). Use a piece of kitchen twine to tie the thyme, parsley stems and bay leaf together into a bouquet garni. Season the liquid well with salt and add the bouquet garni. Bring the liquid to a simmer and place a clean, lint-free dish towel or a couple of layers of cheesecloth over the surface to keep the artichokes submerged. Cook the artichokes until they are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 35 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the minced anchovy and allow the artichokes to cool in the liquid. At this point the artichokes can be stored in the liquid, refrigerated, for a couple of days.
When you are ready to serve, discard the bouquet garni and remove the artichokes from the liquid. Cut each artichoke into six wedges. Drain most of the liquid from the vegetables, reserving the liquid for another use such as a soup or a pasta sauce. In a bowl, toss the artichoke wedges with the vegetables and the minced parsley. Serve at room temperature, or reheat before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe by Thomas Keller, Chef/Owner, The French Laundry