Friday, May 29, 2009

Chicken, Olives and Artichokes - Hunter Style

When I decided to make this dish, I was thinking of a chicken cacciatore that I used to get from a local supermarket. They would make it with big chunks of white breast meat, all the colors of bell peppers and lots of whole garlic cloves. It was delicious. Since I was making this for my mom, I decided to leave out the peppers because they don't agree with her.

Because we both love artichokes and olives, I decided to sub them for the peppers. As a matter of fact, my mom makes a chicken and artichoke dish very similar to this, only without the sauce. Since I had a jar of sauce that needed to be used, I whipped this up. It is really good over pasta or you could eat it as is, with a big piece of Italian bread for mopping up the sauce.

Chicken, Olives and Artichokes - Hunter Style
by Mixed Salad Annie Serves 4

3 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into about 1 1/2" chunks
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 jar of black olives, drained and rinsed
1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and halved
12 cloves of garlic, (very large ones halved)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 jar marinara sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs rosemary

Add the flour, garlic powder and paprika to a large ziplock bag. Season the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper and add them to the flour in the bag. Shake the chicken to coat all the pieces. Remove from bag and shake off excess flour and set aside.

Heat one tablespoon of oil and rosemary sprigs on low heat in large dutch oven or large deep skillet for about 5 minutes. Add the olives and artichokes cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan with a slotted spoon to a bowl and add the remaining olive oil to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium/high and add chicken pieces.

Brown the chicken on all sides and de-glaze the pan with the wine. When the wine evaporates, add the chicken broth and sauce. Add the artichoke mixture back to the pan and stir to combine. Lower the heat, and simmer slowly for about 20-25 minutes. Remove and disgard the rosemary sprigs. Serve over pasta or with Italian bread.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Simple and Satisfying!

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Like this salad for example. Very basic.

What did it consist of??
Bagged salad mix; romaine, frisse, radicchio and shredded carrots
Petite baby carrots
Grape tomatoes
Rolled and sliced roasted turkey
Sliced American cheese
Chic peas
Dressing; extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dried dill weed

THAT'S IT. Toss it all together in a bowl and call it lunch or dinner.
Simple, easy, healthy and so delicious!

Whip one up of your own. You'll be glad you did ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Drunken Chicken with Olives over Polenta Squares

Things have been kind of crazy lately in my little world. Between working and moving my mom into her new apartment, I haven't had much time to cook lately. I've been eating out more often lately and taking home leftovers (which I love by the way), so I don't have many recipes to post or talk about.

Of course, I'm not complaining about eating out, I love it. My sister and I took my mom out for dinner on Mother's Day and I had a really great dinner. It was a chicken and pasta entree with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini and snipped green onions, in a garlic and wine sauce. Ooh la la. It was delicious.

Speaking of chicken in a wine sauce... I did make this drunken chicken with olives over polenta squares a few months back and never posted it. The recipe was inspired by Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia. It was very tasty and I really have to make this again (someday when I can think straight again!). Happy Cooking to all of you!!

Drunken Chicken with Olives over Polenta Squares

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary needles
1 teaspoon salt
Coarse black pepper to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
3 bone-in chicken breasts, cut in half
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Coarsely chop together the garlic, thyme and rosemary and place in a large zip lock bag.

Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, zest and lemon juice. Add the chicken pieces, zip up bag and shake the bag making sure the marinade covers all of the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade. Set marinade aside and pat chicken dry with thick layer of paper towels. Add the flour to a medium sized paper or plasic bag. Add the chicken and shake until it is evenly coated. Shake off excess flour.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or sauté pan large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Brown the pieces well on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Add the wine and raise the heat to high. Cook for a minute or two. Add the olives and reserved marinade. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes. Check for doneness with an instant read thermometor until it reaches at least 165 degrees. Serve the chicken over polenta, potatoes or pasta and top with the olives and pan juices.

Polenta Squares

2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta

Bring the water, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour the polenta into a greased 9 by 9-inch baking pan, spreading so that it is 1/3-inch thick. Cover and let stand at room temperature until set, about 15 minutes.