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Braised Chicken with Artichokes
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Chicken breasts, braised with artichokes, make a stylish dish. Use a knife and fork for the chicken, but encourage your guests to pick up the artichokes, pull away a leaf and eat the tender part at its base. Provide plenty of serviettes or finger bowls. Serve sprinkled with a gremolata, which is a combination of chopped garlic, parsley and lemon zest.
You could substitute the artichokes with prepared artichoke hearts in oil. They are available from the delicatessen chiller cabinet or in jars. Drain the oil and add to the chicken when the foil is removed during cooking.
To prepare the artichokes
Trim the stalks and pull away a few of the tough outer leaves. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the tops off to expose the heart.
Rub with the reserved lemon half. Place the artichokes with the squeezed lemon half into a large pan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and cook for 4-6 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander. The hairy chokes will need to be removed as this stage. Using a clean tea towel, hold the artichoke by the stalk and scoop out the choke with a spoon
This recipe was first published in July 2002.