Chicken with Artichokes and Pasta — 4 stars

Last week I had my first dinner party with my new friends.  I selected a recipe I had made once before, and enjoyed.  The was somewhat simple and somewhat sophisticated, making it ideal for a dinner party.  Interestingly, the recipe’s author wrote her post just before summer, hoping for the weather to get warmer; I made this dish at what is apparently just after the end of Michigan summer, and wishing I were still in Texas, where it is still warm.  Oh well.  Chicken with Artichokes and Pasta was a success nonetheless.

I didn’t change this recipe too much (maybe being back in school has encouraged me to read AND FOLLOW directions more?).  I just doubled the garlic, used roma tomates instead of cherry tomatoes, and used Chardonnay instead of Pinot Grigio.  About the wine…I think that living less than five minutes from a Trader Joe’s will have me taking advantage of Three Buck Chuck.  Good quality wine makes a difference…I think this dish tasted better with the Charles Shaw Chardonnay than it did with the $5 bottle of Chardonnay from Wal-Mart I used last time.  Back to the recipe…I also white onion instead of red onion, table salt instead of kosher salt, and black pepper from a can instead of fresh black pepper.  Oh, and I doubled the oregano as well.  Lastly, I believe roma tomatoes are more firm than cherry tomatoes, and thus cooked the tomatoes for about 4 minutes, instead of the suggested 1 minute.  Okay, maybe I slightly modified the recipe.

As my friend would later say, “she puts together ingredients you would never think of, and makes something really, really tasty.”  Well TD, you too can think of such ingredients to put together if you wasted invested as much time as I did reading recipes.  🙂  I enjoyed the final dish as well.  I served it over whole wheat penne; please don’trevert to “regular” penne if you make this dish.  I kept the pasta seperate from the sauce, and let people mix in as much or as little as they wanted.  Vegetables on the side are a must, since there’s nothing green in the recipe.  I’m on the fence as to whether adding spinach would enhance or detract from the dish…

This makes about 6 servings.

Ingredients

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 onion, diced
1 (14.5) ounce can quartered artichoke hearts (or whole artichoke hearts you buy accidentally, and then have to quarter yourself…)
1/2 cup Chardonnay
1 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of 1/2 large lemon)
1 cup diced roma tomatoes

1/2 pound dried penne pasta

Directions

1.  Sprinkle diced chicken with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
2.  Start the water for your pasta.
3.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute.
4.  Stir in chicken, cook for 3-6 minutes or until the chicken starts to brown.
5.  Stir in onion, artichoke hearts, and dried oregano. Cook for 3 minutes or until onion starts to soften.
6.  Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, begin cooking your pasta. Cook according to package directions.
7.  To the chicken pan, add wine to deglaze. Be sure to scrape up the bits that have stuck to the bottom, there is lots of flavor in there. Stir in lemon juice. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5-8 minutes.
8.  Stir in tomatoes, cook 3 minutes.
9.  Drain pasta.  Spoon mixture over pasta. Serve hot.

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