Sunday, May 3, 2009

Are There Really Frozen Artichokes?

You know, there are only so many ways to combine corn, tomatoes, and chicken and I think I've tried every last one of them. Time for something new & different.

What helps break me out of a rut is trying some new, random source for recipes. On a whim I picked up Good Housekeeping and was thrilled to find this Greek Chicken dish. Good Housekeeping is hardly new to the world of recipe-making, it's just not something I usually pick up (especially now that even doctor's offices only carry free publications - what is up with that?).

I've never in my life seen or heard of frozen artichokes. Running into a friend at Trader Joe's, she confirmed that I wasn't the only one. Fortunately, Trader Joe's had jarred artichokes that worked just fine. You could zip this up a little bit with marinated artichokes (which will also increase the fat content), and maybe ditch the mint, depending on the marinade.

The cooking is pretty easy. I got all fancy with the serving - cucumbers go beautifully with feta and mint, so I sliced cucumber and fanned it prettily on each plate. Then a little brown rice, topped with chicken, topped with artichoke sauce, topped with feta. YUM.

Oh, and I tried pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness and did nothing besides scare the crap out of the dogs with all the noise. If you're equally unskilled, either get a sharp knife and slice them thinly yourself (easiest when they're still semi-frozen), or just decide to let them cook a little longer at a slightly lower temp.

Chicken Saute with Artichokes, Lemon, & Mint
Good Housekeeping, May 2009

4 med. skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil (kind of a lot... you can knock it down to 2 or 3)
1 pkg (8 to 10 ounces) of mythical, don't-believe-they-really-exist frozen artichoke hearts, thawed. Whatever. I found a 14-ounce jar and figured that, once drained, they were probably 10ish ounces.
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus additional for garnish [Note: If you haven't cooked with mint before, I'd start with 2 tablespoons in the sauce and see how you like it. You can always add more later, but you can't take it out.]
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used bottled)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. With meat mallet or bottom of skillet, pound chicken (placed between 2 sheets plastic wrap) to an even 1/2-inch thickness; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

2. In 12-inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium heat. Add chicken and cook 12 to 14 minutes or until browned on both sides and chicken loses it pink color throughout turning over once. Transfer chicken to shallow serving bowl; cover with foil to keep warm.

3. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and heat on medium until hot. Add artichokes and cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth and heat to boiling on medium-high; boil 2 to 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove skillet from heat; stir in mint and lemon juice.

4. To serve, spoon artichoke sauce over chicken; top with feta. Garnish with additional chopped mint leaves.

Each serving about 285 calories, 43g protein


Nancy said...

I have very occasionally found frozen artichokes at Kroger, but yes, jarred ones work just fine.

Anonymous said...

Hi-funny that you mention that you were discussing the mythical frozen ones at Trader Joes....I have bought them (frozen!) at Trader Joes in fact, I just saw them there a couple of weeks ago while hunting for their frozen roasted corn (which they were out of:-()