Chicken Rissatouille

Fine, the real name is braised chicken with artichokes and olives. But it’s too generic a name and while I was explaining to Matt the real name of this dish, he just interjected and said, it should be called Chicken Rissatouille. And so it shall be named.

You sometimes get crazy ideas on what to cook for a meal. I still have leftover canned artichokes at home chilling in the fridge from the last pasta dish that I made. I wanted to use that up, and also keep using lean chicken breast as my main meat. So I googled a recipe using chicken and artichoke. And surprisingly, this came up, and it also includes a few other favorite ingredients such as green olives and chickpeas. How lucky can I get? I shall be posting the original recipe from the website linked here.

I was afraid at first that this will become too Indian in flavor with the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric mix (same things I find in my biryani!). I love Indian food but I am really not in the mood. I tried it anyway because I need to be thrown off my cooking comfort zone.

It ended up tasting pretty good! All the spices were just a light flavor and nothing too crazy or strong for a regular braised dish. But I realized I really don’t like that the artichokes, which are expensive even when canned, has a bit of sour taste, added I presumed to prevent it from turning black. Maybe if I have frozen of fresh ones, it will be better.

20160504_204401
Yellow Braised Dish

Braised Chicken with Artichoke and Olives Recipe

  • 8 organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 11/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth, homemade or 
store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
  • 8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts (see note), quartered
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as picholine or manzanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro

PREPARATION

    1. Pat the chicken dry and season salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
    2. Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt. Garnish with the mint.
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