When I was a kid, my mother took a cooking class with Giuliano Bugialli and learned how to make this dish. It tastes so rich and divine that you'd never suspect it's so economical and quick to make! She'd let me request a special meal for my birthday, and I often requested this dish.
Kathryn published this recipe way back in 2009, and I've had it on my to-make list since then. I finally got around to it and wow was that overdue. This recipe is so deceptively simple; as Kathryn says, you would never guess it is so quick. The wine in the sauce binds the dish together and elevates it beyond the sum of its parts. You can use either frozen or canned artichoke hearts for this dish. I used canned this time through, and they were delicious. Cut the chicken in pieces a little smaller than the artichoke heart halves. The final dish is velvety and creamy (without cream, of course), and fragrant with wine and the artichokes' tangy taste. The chicken is very tender. This is a company dish, a supper good enough for a dinner party, but easy and quick enough for a weeknight. It's mild and delicious in a subtle, tangy way. - Faith
Chicken and Artichokes in Wine Sauce
2 cups artichoke hearts, frozen and thawed, or canned and drained
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
1 1/2 cups flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups dry yet mellow white wine, such as Chardonnay
Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, to garnish (optional)
Cut the artichoke hearts in half lengthwise. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch to a side. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with about 1 teaspoon salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour.
Set a large skillet (at least 12 inches wide) over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the artichokes. Cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned on each side. Remove the artichokes from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet along with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Lift the chicken pieces out of the flour and arrange in the skillet. Sauté the chicken pieces for 5 to 7 minutes or until well-browned on both sides. (For best flavor, look for a golden crust to develop, and make sure both sides are browned.) Add the browned artichokes back to the pan.
Pour in the white wine and and stir and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat. The sauce will thicken. Stir well to coat everything with the wine sauce. Stir in a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice.
Serve with pasta or couscous. Garnish, if desired, with finely chopped parsley.
(Originally published 10/16/2009)
(Images: Faith Durand)