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Braised Chicken and Artichokes

Baby artichokes require some trimming, but you won’t need to wrestle with removing the choke, which 
is negligible in the small vegetables. The rewards will be well worth your efforts. Out of season, you can use 1 1/2 cups thawed, frozen artichoke hearts or drained marinated hearts, and add them with the tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 lb. baby artichokes
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 each skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves, thighs and drumsticks
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 1 shallot, slivered
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with water and add the juice of 1/2 lemon. Trim the stem of each artichoke. Snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender inner leaves. Cut off the top one-third of the artichoke. Halve the artichokes lengthwise and, if they seem large, cut each half in half. Add the artichokes to the lemon water.

Spread the flour on a plate and season well with salt and pepper. Lightly toss the chicken in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and season with salt and pepper.

Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pan. Add the garlic and shallot to the pan and sauté until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the basil, tarragon, parsley and mustard. Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the tomatoes.

Return the thighs and drumsticks to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the breasts and cook for 10 minutes more. Drain the artichokes, add to the pan, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout and the artichokes are tender, about 10 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning with more lemon juice, as needed. Transfer to a deep platter and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).