Braised Chicken and Artichokes

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picture: http://blog.boroughmarket.org.uk/

The shop near my new flat in Peckham had some violet tinged artichokes for sale at 99p each and I bought three and six chicken thighs for the first meal I cooked there. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked for chicken with artichokes so made up this one, which has two key influences. The first is Patience Gray’s recipe for Carciofi Vicentini in her book Honey from a Weed, which uses coriander seeds and mint and simmers trimmed artichokes with olive oil and water, and the second is Moro’s recipe for chicken braised with bay leaves, garlic and white wine. I thought it was delicious and the artichokes flavour the broth delightfully.

NB – you could use a jar or tin of pre-prepared artichoke hearts if you wanted. Just take out the cooking stage where you remove the chicken from the pot – leave it in there – then continue the recipe, and add artichokes in after 20 minutes of gently simmering the chicken.

Serves 3

6 chicken thighs

3 small-medium sized artichokes

4 fat garlic cloves, left whole and slightly bashed with a knife

2 mugs of water

1 wine glass of dry white wine

2 teaspoons of whole coriander seeds

1 lemon

unsalted butter and olive oil

How to make:

Cut off the stalks of the artichokes, remove the tough outer leaves and cut off 2/3 of the head. Scoop out the choke (the straw like stuff) if there is any. Use a small knife to trim off the tough skin at the bottom of the artichoke. Place in water with ½ lemon squeezed in to stop them going brown as you do each one.

Slice up the artichoke hearts into 1cm slices then return them to the lemon water.

In a large, heavy bottomed pan, melt a small knob of unsalted butter with a tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic cloves in the pan. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and fry for a few minutes each side until slightly browned and then remove from the pan to a plate. Leave the garlic in the pan.

Place the well drained artichoke slices into the hot pan that you used to fry the chicken with the coriander seeds and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring now and then. Add back the chicken and stir and pour over the water and the wine and add a slice or two of lemon peel and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes, 20 minutes with a lid on, 20 minutes with a lid off. Before serving, season well with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. If you want a stronger sauce, remove the chicken to a warm dish and boil for 5-8 minutes to reduce.

Serve with a few slices of good bread toasted then rubbed with raw garlic and drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Have a salad too if you want.

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