Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dijon Chicken and Artichokes

I can probably sit here and think of 100 excuses for why I haven't posted anything lately... but I'll just give you one: I've been busy! Seems that more and more often I'm using that excuse... Besides being busy I've been very sick lately, and spent the entire last weekend laying around being utterly useless... so cut a girl some slack.

Anyways, I've put together a lovely little weeknight dinner for ya. Here it is: Dijon Chicken and Artichokes.

Typically I make this dijon sauce with pork chops, but since I only had chicken breasts on hand, I used the same method with chicken that I normally do with pork! Horrah!
You should feel free to try this recipe but substitute thinly cut boneless porkchops instead of the chicken.

Dijon Chicken and Artichokes
(For two servings)
You'll need:
2 artichokes with the ends and sharp parts of the leaves cut off
8–10 oz of boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbs butter
3 tbs dijon mustard
3/4 c chicken broth
1/2 c white wine
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 C fat free hand & half (you can use heavy cream or regular half & half, I just wanted to keep the fat down)
salt and pepper

First off, bring a large pot of water to boil and put the trimmed artichokes in. Let the artichokes boil for 25-30 minutes, or until you can easily spear the top middle part with a fork. For those of you who have never had an artichoke, you're missing out! They are yummy and low in calories, a very good way to fit a fun vegetable into your diet. You should saw off the top sharp parts and end stem with a serrated knife, and the sharp bits of the leaves with kitchen scissors. You eat them by plucking off the leaves and eating the inner ends. I like to dip them in mayo or a simple lemon-mayo (I'll give you to scoop on that in a minute). You can also use a spoon to dig out the heart (the best part)!

While those are boiling away, salt and pepper one side of the chicken breasts. Put a nonstick pan on medium high heat and add in the butter and oil. Why both? The butter adds flavor and the oil has a higher burning temperature so it helps the cooking process. This combination will yield a yummylicious golden crust on the chicken. Put the chicken into the pan, the seasoned side down. While it is cooking, go ahead and apply salt and pepper to the unseasoned side. Turn the chicken over to get the golden crust on both sides and let it cook until it is no longer raw on the inside.

Take the chicken out of the pan and cover it with foil to keep it warm. Leave the heat on the pan, you'll need it.
Add the onions and cook them until they are soft and golden. Deglaze the pan with the white wine (basically, pour the wine in and scrape the yummy brown bits off the bottom with a rubber/plastic utensil). Then, add a bit of the broth. Let the liquids simmer down, and when it's reduced a bit, add the remaining broth, mustard, and half & half. Turn the heat down a bit and stir constantly until it's cooked down to a thicker consistency (you still want it to be liquid-y, but not too watery. Just think of what the perfect sauce would look like). Beware, the sauce will burn on the sides of your pan if the heat is too high, if in doubt: turn it down. It'll just take a bit longer to cook, but it'll be fine.

When that's done, make the lemon-mayo. (It's absurdly easy) Ready:
1) put 1–2tbs mayo in a little bowl
2) cut the lemon into 4 pieces
3) squeeze lemon quarter into bowl with mayo
4) salt and pepper
5) stir


Plate the artichoke with the dipping sauce, drizzle the chicken with your sauce, and enjoy!

Foodie Foodie!

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