After a week of coughing, sneezing and general malaise, I’m happy to report that The G-Man is on the mend!
I’m thrilled on many levels.
I love the guy, but honestly, if we were cooped up together for one more day, the outcome may have ended up as an idea for a future episode of “CSI”.
Also, I’m damn sick of soup and sandwiches.
Yeah, chicken soup and turkey sandwiches may be great for flu-ridden stomachs, but that 21 quart cauldron may have been a bit of overkill. In my defense, the thought behind this soup-a-thon was, “Hey, at least if I get the crud, I’ll have something to eat.” Of course, I’m still as healthy as a horse but my palate is so bored that the wackiest thing that Andrew Zimmern could dream up to nosh on would be a welcome change. And my chicken soup is damn good. But it’s true. Turns out you can have too much of a good thing…
So today, when Gary got up, put on real clothes (I use that term loosely, as anyone who’s seen the his usual wardrobe of shorts and t-shirts) and cleaned the cat box, I giddily hit the grocery store with dinner on my mind.
Originally, I was planning on spaghetti marinara with chicken parm but that all changed when I found the jar of the tiniest, most tender artichoke hearts that I totally forgot I bought, hiding in the pantry. Immediately, the creative juices began to flow. So did the lemon juices. The resulting dish is my idea of comfort food, Italian-style. What I love so much about this dish is that even though it’s pasta and there is butter in the sauce, it’s incredibly light, thanks to the lemon and the fact that the dish is not drowning in sauce. But at the same time, it’s really comforting and satisfying. Plus if you’re on a budget, you can feed a family of four for under 8 bucks! On top of all that, it’s super easy to make! Score!
Chicken with Artichoke Hearts
The Badass says: “Nothing says “Comfort Food” like pasta. Add a bit of chicken and a light white wine, lemon and butter sauce and you’ve got an main course that is comfort food, Badass Style.”
Here’s what you need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup flour
1 large pinch Kosher salt (about a heaping ½ tsp)
¼ tsp freshly cracked white pepper (you can sub black pepper)
3 TBS olive oil plus 4 TBS butter
1.5 cups artichoke hearts, halved
2 TBS minced shallots
1 TBS minced elephant garlic (if you use regular garlic, use only 2 small cloves)
The zest and juice from two large lemons
1 cup dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
2 additional TBS of butter
1 TBS Half & Half or heavy cream
fresh parsley-about 1 TBS, minced
1 pound spaghetti (plus about 1 TBS salt for the cooking water)
You’ll also need:
A meat mallet/tenderizer
Some plastic wrap
Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
And here’s what you do:
In a large flat dish, mix the flour, salt and pepper together to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife (preferably a filet knife) fillet each chicken breast in half so that you end up with 4 chicken cutlets.
Wrap the cutlets loosely with plastic wrap (to avoid chicken juice splattering all over the place) and gently pound the hell out ‘em.
Coat each piece in the flour mixture, shaking each piece gently to remove any excess flour.
Next heat the olive oil and 4 TBS of butter in a large sauté pan on high heat. Carefully add the chicken and cook for about 1½ minutes, turn and cook for another 1 ½ minutes, lower the heat to medium high and cook for an additional 1-1 ½ minutes on each side (cooking times may vary). Remove from the pan and set aside.
Now to cook the pasta, in salted water, according to package instructions.
Add the remaining 2 TBS of butter along with the shallot and garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 30-45 seconds then add the artichoke hearts, cook for another minute. Add the wine to deglaze the pan. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir the mixture to loosen all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan. Cook for one minute. Add the lemon juice and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the half & half and cook, so that the mixture starts to gently boil. Cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, mound the pasta on a large platter and pour about ¾ of the mixture on the pasta and toss to coat (NOTE: this is not a very “saucy” dish-the pan sauce is meant to lightly coat the pasta, not drown it) Arrange the chicken pieces on top to the pasta and pour the remaining sauce on top of the chicken. Top with the minced parsley. Serve with grated cheese, if desired.
Well, hope you guys have a good weekend and that you’re all staying healthy!
Till next time…
Have Fun…and Be Fearless!