Monday, October 17, 2005

Chicken with artichokes

Tonight's turn in the kitchen took me to a recipe posted on The Savory Notebook. Alysha made this a week or two back, and it intrigued me. She said it needed tweaking, so I felt the need to tweak. I think I'm happy with the results. I think there are a few things I would still tweak a little more- but overall, the finished product was a good dish served up with some egg noodles. Andy liked it, and since that always is a plus, it will go into my recipe file. I liked that it was quick, and it is fairly versatile. Of course, it called for those wonderful frozen artichoke hearts- and I am SO impressed with those alone. So here is the original recipe with Alysha's notes. I will add my notes and changes as well.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Chicken with Artichoke Hearts
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:20

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless -- skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch chunks Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 garlic cloves -- minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 red bell pepper -- ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch strips -- (I added about 1/4 cup of chopped kalamata olives)
1 package frozen artichoke hearts -- (10 ounces) thawed and halved
4 ounces feta cheese -- crumbled

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to skillet, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinegar; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, until liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups water to skillet, and simmer over medium heat 10 minutes. Add bell pepper and artichoke hearts; simmer until chicken is tender and liquid has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in feta cheese, season with salt and pepper as desired, and serve.
Per serving: 377 calories; 19.8 grams fat; 39.8 grams protein; 9.6 grams carbohydrates; 4.6 grams fiber
Martha's Note: Since they are not packed in oil as many jarred artichoke hearts are, frozen ones taste the closest to fresh.
Source: "Martha Stewart's Everyday Food"Start to Finish Time: "0:40" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 148 Calories; 13g Fat (76.8% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 25mg Cholesterol; 319mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fat.
NOTES : Because the chicken in this Mediterranean-style dish is braised, thighs are best. Dark meat stays moister than white; it becomes even more tender when cooked in liquid.

Now for my changes.
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 of a sweet onion, cut into thin slices
8 kalamata olives, chopped (okay, 8 was all I had, I would have liked a little more)
1 package frozen artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
4 ounces feta cheese
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup low fat sour cream

I basically followed the directions, adding the onions and olives in with the peppers. Except that once the liquid had cooked down, I added the splash of lemon juice and sour cream. I think I would like yogurt better- but I used what I had. I added the feta cheese after those had combined with the sauce and serve dit right away. And if you notice, I used chicken stock instead of water. I think that next time I would also add 1/2 teaspoon of Greek Seasoning with the oregano. I don't personally care for the flavor of just using oregano, but I like it fine in a blend. I didn't have a problem with using chicken breasts instead of thighs. I'm sure the thighs would have a slightly better flavor, but I was using things up in the freezer- hence the breasts. I did use a little less of cook time in the first step- basically cooking them until they were no longer pink instead of the full 10 minutes.

I'm not sure what I will work on tomorrow. I really need to devote some time to my sewing this week, as I have costumes to finish. Aargh. So maybe there will be something new, maybe not. And because I need to get my mind out of the kitchen, and into the sewing room, I will be staying away from a challenge this week. Hopefully next week I will be back on track to challenge myself next week. :-)

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