Chicken with Artichokes

My first priority was to use the food we had brought with us. Johanna had a pack of chicken thighs so I made my variation on the recently published NYTimes recipe for chicken with artichokes. They suggest legs and thighs but use what you can get and or like. This recipe was a revelation because I had never cooked with artichokes other than occasionally steaming one. Along with beets and cabbage it was one of the ingredients my husband Bob would not countenance. IMHO the best artichokes to use are Whole Foods frozen artichoke hearts which those of you using their delivery service might find very available - or maybe scarce anyway. I had read that using canned artichokes work well enough especially if you soak them to get rid of the canned taste. I think it is preferable not to use marinated artichokes, but if you use them and like the result please let me know.

Here is my non recipe take on this dish:

  • Heat some olive oil that coats the bottom of a pan. I used 10 inch skillet. Brown chicken on both sides, skin side down first for about 8 to 10 minutes and on the other side for about 5. Remove chicken. Since I eventually use a lid I usually place it upside down on the counter and put the chicken in it - saves 1 dish cleanup.

  • Slice or chop an onion and brown it in the same pan along with the artichokes. I have used two 15 ounce cans or half a package of Whole Foods frozen (no need to defrost in advance of cooking). I use less liquid and skip the putting it in the oven Add some salt to taste and ground pepper. When I only had one can I added some cut up fresh asparagus. I suppose you could add any fairly quick cooking vegetable you have on hand such as peas or string beans.

  • Now is the time to add some liquid to the pan to scrape up the brown bits. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cup of wine or broth and cooking till reduced by half and then cooking another 10 minutes in the oven. When I made this I had neither stock nor wine. I recalled the Jacques Pepin recipe, in his very first book, called Chicken with Vinegar so I used a bit ( maybe a tablespoon or two) of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the brown bits in the pan and added about an equal amount of water. (When Johanna made it at home a few weeks ago, she used champagne left over from New Year's Eve).

  • Return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle with some dried thyme or use fresh if you have any in the age of pandemic. Cover and cook on medium or medium low for about 20 minutes until done. .

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