Monday, March 5, 2012

Chicken with Artichokes, Cream and Tomatoes [Rhonda]

Degree of difficulty: easy
Time: 35 minutes (includes prep and cooking and is worth it)
Serves: 6

Is there nothing left to do with boneless breast of chicken? Well, as long as Mark Bittman keeps writing columns for the Times Sunday Magazine (see Feb 5, 2012) about it and getting paid for it, there must be a market.

Actually, this recipe is not from Bittman. It's from Rafferty. Peggy Rafferty. She's on par with Bittman, no kidding. She was one of the best contributors to the cookbook, "A Taste of New Albany." That cookbook may not've been on a NYTimes bestseller list, but it did raise quite a bit of money for New Albany's middle school back in the day.

It's a solid way to play with artichokes and makes for a nice meal.

Chicken Breasts with Artichokes, Cream and Tomatoes

6 chicken breasts, split
14 ounce can peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
10 ounce can artichoke hearts (in water, not marinade)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chicken broth (use those frozen chick stock cubes if you have them!)
1/4 cup white wine

Rinse chicken and pat dry.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Drain excess oil from skillet.

Add onion, garlic, wine and broth to pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is fork-tender. Remove chicken from pan. Reduce juices until reduced to 1/2 cup, three to five minutes. Add tomatoes and artichokes to pan.

Cook one minute. Add cream, parmesan cheese and basil, simmer until liquid is reduced to 2 cups, six minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper if you like. Return chicken to pan, heat briefly and serve.

Suggested soundtrack: Maurice Ravel's "Pavanne pour une infante defunte"

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