Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 17, 2017

© Leo Gong

Braised chicken with artichokes and olives

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Braised chicken with artichokes and olives

In Italy they harvest artichokes in both spring and fall, and that abundance graces their cuisine. Artichokes also enhance their health, as they stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile, which escorts toxins out of the body and also helps break down fats in the diet. Here, artichoke hearts are combined with chicken, chickpeas, and olives to create a rich, nourishing stew seasoned with a potpourri of heady and healthful spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and mint.


8 organic boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken thighs, about 1 ½ lb. (750g)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp. (5 ml) turmeric
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground cumin
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground coriander
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick, or ¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 c. (500 ml) organic chicken broth
2 tsp. (10 ml) grated lemon zest
3 tbsp. (45ml) freshly squeezed
lemon juice
1 c. (250 ml) canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts, rinsed
½ c. (125 ml) pitted green olives, such as picholine or manzanilla
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chopped fresh mint


Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in ¼ cup (60 ml) of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Garnish with the mint. Serves 4.

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