Before you start this recipe, I’m going to recommend that you go out and get a bottle of dry sherry. If you plan on making any of these recipes that I will be pulling from ye old church cookbook, you’ll need about a gallon of the stuff. I believe that these church ladies must have used the old adage: ‘One for you and one for me’ when it came to putting sherry in their dishes. To be honest, I find that it creates an added depth to most of the meals. *hic*.
Also, I don’t know about you, but I LOVE marinated artichoke hearts. When I went to the store to buy a jar, I almost choked at the cost. Enter my Costco membership. I bought a pair of 33 ounce jars there for under $9, whereas at the grocery store, it was a 6 ounce jar for around $3. No brainer. Plus, with the larger jar to pull from, I could throw in as many artichokes as I wanted, willy-nilly.
Before I started throwing oil in the pan, I whipped out my handy Ziplock bag and put some flour in it. (Yes, gluten-free flour works great). I tossed in all the chicken after it, zipped it up and had a real shakedown. Easiest way to coat chicken without making a huge mess. I dumped some of the marinated oil from the artichoke jar and a bit of additional olive oil into the frying pan, waited for it to heat up and used tongs to transfer the chicken from the bag to the chicken in the pan.
While the chicken was browning, I dumped a can of chopped up tomatoes, garlic, salt, oregano, basil, pepper and sliced fresh mushrooms into a bowl and folded it all on top of each other. Now, the recipe calls for monosodium glutamate. I don’t know WHAT those ladies were up to with all their sherry and non-such, but there was no way I was going to put msg in my dish. So, I just sprinkled in a bit more of the salt and didn’t look back.
Once I had browned the chicken nicely, I placed the pieces in a casserole dish and covered it with the tomato mixture. Couldn’t have been easier. Covered the dish, threw it in the oven and went and worked on some art project I had been ignoring.
I had used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this dish. It’s super versatile, so you can use whatever cut of chicken you like, just adjust the time accordingly. I figured that without skin or bones, my chicken was going to cook up a lot quicker than if I had thrown in a whole cut up fryer. So, at the 40 minute mark, I took out the dish and prepped it for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Oh, and if you were wondering….yes, I did forget to use a potholder to lift the glass lid and burned the hell out of my fingers. I finished up this dish while holding a bag of frozen soycutash in my left hand and doing everything else with my right. Impressed? I’m here all week.
This is the sherry I bought. It worked quite nicely.
Once I pulled the chicken out of the oven, I threw in the artichoke hearts and poured 1/2 cup sherry over the whole deal. It smelled heavenly! Definitely not ‘optional’. Placing the lid back on (with a potholder this time) I tossed the dish back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
The chicken came out super tender and the artichokes gave the dish that bright bite I was looking for. The sherry flavor was very subtle, but what did come through was a slight, very slight, caramel-like sweetness that complimented the acidity in the artichokes. This was also one of those meals that held up really well for leftovers.
My mom was right. It was most certainly “really good”!
Chicken Cacciatore with Artichokes
- 1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb.) frying chicken, cut up
- 1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 lb. mushrooms (sliced) or 1 (8 oz.) can sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 c. dry sherry (optional) (but really, you should use it)
- Minced parsley (optional)
- Drain the artichoke hearts and combine the liquid with oil in a skillet. Heat until almost sizzling. Coat chicken with flour, add to hot oil and brown on all sides. Place chicken in a large casserole. In a separate bowl, mix tomatoes, garlic, salt, oregano, basil, pepper and mushrooms well. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Add sherry and artichokes. Bake 1o minutes longer. Garnish with parsley and serve with rice.