Chicken and Artichoke Cacciatore

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.  We had such amazing weather today to accompany our very busy day of t-ball opening ceremonies, team pictures and our first game.  My sweet husband also got our zip line up and running which is going to provide endless hours (at least in my dreams) of excitement for our boys… that is until they start fighting about whose turn it is.  I will just keep pretending that whole sibling rivalry thing doesn’t exist and go back to my dream of drinking iced tea, working in my garden while the fresh bread is baking in my clean house, all while my boys lovingly frolic through the yard playing without any arguments…. ahhhhhh…. that’s nice.

This is one of my all time very favorite recipes.  I discovered the original version (I have altered it slightly) about 10 years ago in one of the best cookbooks on the planet (Portland’s Palate).  This meal will make you feel like you are dining at a 5-star Italian restaurant even though you hardly spent any time preparing it.  The oven pretty much does all of the work for you.  I spent about 15 minutes prepping this for the oven, popped it in and went for a walk/run/race/piggyback with my family.  By the time we came back, it was time to start the noodles, and in no time, we were sitting down for an amazing dinner that the boys actually ate without complaining (rare in our little family).

Ingredients:

4 small chicken breasts or two large breasts cut in half lengthwise

3/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging

1 tsp salt (for dredging)

1/2 tsp cracked pepper (for dredging)

1-6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, do not drain

1-15 oz can stewed tomatoes; do not drain

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup sherry (or your favorite red wine)

1 box angel hair pasta

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, salt and pepper together.  Rinse and trim chicken breasts, pat dry.  Dredge in flour.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven.  I would highly recommend using a dutch oven if you have one.  If you don’t, you can find them deeply discounted at Ross Dress for less or TJ Maxx or other discount home stores.  If not, don’t sweat it, a deep (oven safe) pan (or crock pot for that matter) will work just fine.  Add chicken.  Make sure your pan is hot and you hear a good loud sizzle when you add your chicken.  Cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until browned.  Add artichoke hearts, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, water,  garlic, herbs, and pepper.  Remove from heat. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Start heating the water for your pasta.  Remove chicken from oven.  At this point your chicken will be extremely tender and will shred very easily (if desired) with a fork.  After shredding, add red wine and bake an additional 10 minutes. While chicken is cooking, add pasta to boiling water.  Add 1 Tbsp salt to the pasta water once it reaches a full boil. Once drained, angel hair pasta is infamous for sticking together… If you are having this issue, run a little hot water over the noodles.  This will rinse some of the starch away and allow the noodles to separate. Just be sure to drain thoroughly again.  

Serve over angel hair pasta or rice. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  If you are looking for a healthier version, use some whole wheat pasta or don’t shred the chicken and serve whole breasts with no pasta.  The chicken sauce itself is really pretty healthy.

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2 comments on “Chicken and Artichoke Cacciatore

  1. Jennifer says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and used my Pampered Chef Covered Baker and it turned out awesome. This is such a great way to make chicken that just falls apart. One of my sons said “This is so so so good. Can we have leftovers for dinner tomorrow night?”. I have to say this meal was definitely a success. 🙂

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