Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lidia's Chicken with artichokes

Chicken with artichokes is from the cookbook "Lidia's Italy" by Lidia Bastianich.  This is a delicious one dish meal. To make it an easy one dish meal, I use frozen artichoke hearts.  Not only do you save all the work of cleaning artichokes, but you save money too.  In my supermarket artichokes are several dollars EACH. One and 1/2 pounds of artichokes would bankrupt you, and, to me, frozen vegetables are an acceptable substitute.
I've left in the directions for fresh artichokes, so you can try it both ways and decide for yourself. Serve this with a good French or Italian bread and a nice red wine, and you're done.

Serves 6

* 1 1/2 pounds small artichokes, (I use 1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts)
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, rinsed and patted dry, cut into 10 to 12 pieces
* 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
* 1/4 teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1 28-ounce can canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

1. (Skip if you're using frozen artichokes.) Trim pointy tips from artichokes and cut in half or in wedges, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Fill a bowl with water, and add lemon juice. Place artichokes in water until ready to use.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 6-to-7-quart heavy-bottomed, Dutch-oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and add to the pot without crowding, working in batches. Cook chicken, turning once, until browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter or bowl; set aside. Drain any fat that has accumulated in the pot.
3. Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch-oven. When oil is hot, add garlic and cook until sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove artichokes from water and add directly to the pot; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and peperoncino. Cook, stirring often, until dry and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring, until wine is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes to the Dutch oven along with 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil. Cook sauce for 15 minutes.
5. Return chicken to the Dutch oven and submerge in the sauce. Cover and continue cooking until chicken is just cooked through, artichokes are tender, and sauce has evaporated slightly, about 45 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

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