September 7, 2012

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Capers

It's been awhile since I shared a recipe with you that was not vegan. This recipe for chicken with fresh artichokes, lemon, and capers is a favorite in my house. Although the preparation of the artichokes is messy and a little time consuming, it will be well worth the effort. Frozen artichoke hearts can be used in place of the fresh, but they lack the depth of flavor. Without using the artichokes, this dish is quick, easy to prepare, and nearly just as good. The clean bright flavors are great served with brown basmati rice and an additional vegetable for the family.

Making it vegan. I saute the artichokes, capers, lemon zest, and parsley in a separate pan for myself and add some cannellini beans or extra firm tofu to them. I enjoy them with the brown basmati and whatever additional vegetable I am serving. This dish is pictured below served with sauteed broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Capers

Serves 4

For all ingredients, please consider using that are organic.

3 artichokes
2 lemons
3 chicken breasts, cutlets or pounded (organic, antibiotic and hormone free)
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons capers
1/3 cup white wine or dry white vermouth
3 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped

Zest the yellow part of each lemon. Set the zest aside.

Juice the zested lemons. Set aside.

Fill a stock pot or large sauce pan with purified water. Add about half of the lemon juice and the juiced lemon halves to the pot. Set over medium heat. This will be your cooking liquid for the artichokes.

Prepare the artichokes. Starting at the stem of each artichoke, remove all of the tough outer leaves. Once all of the outer leaves are removed, slice off the top of the artichokes. Using a paring knife, carefully slice off the outer portion of the stem. The stem is part of the artichoke heart. It is very flavorful and worth the extra effort to be able to use it. Slice each of the prepared artichokes into symmetrical halves and immediately plunge into the acidulated water. Repeat until they are all cleaned and submerged in the water.

If you feel that it is too challenging or time consuming to bother with the cleaning of the artichokes, slice the tops off and cut them into halves leaving the cleaning and removal of the outer leaves and stem until after they have been cooked.

Raise the heat to medium high, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook the artichokes for about 40 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

Remove from the water with a slotted spoon or tongs. Use a small spoon to gently remove the chokes from the artichokes. If the artichokes are fully cooked, the chokes should lift right out without taking the heart along with it.

Remove any outer leaves from the cooked artichokes and serve them for snacks.

Cut the cleaned hearts into slices or small chunks, sprinkle with a little lemon juice and set aside.

Prepare the chicken. Season both sides of each cutlet with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Lay each chicken cutlet into the hot oil. Resist the urge to turn the chicken breasts over. Allow them to cook until they begin to turn pale and white on exposed part of the chicken before flipping them over. By waiting a little longer to turn the meat, they will not only release with greater ease from the pan, but will be given time to become golden brown with the juices remianing intact.

After you have turned the chicken pieces, add the artichokes, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, and wine to the pan. Allow the chicken and artichokes to simmer in the juices for another few minutes until it is cooked through. Add the chopped parsely and simmer for another couple of minutes.

Serve immediately with brown basmati rice.

Categories: Poultry

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