When spring is on the horizon, but the weather isn’t up to speed, then this is just the thing – the baby artichokes are super Spring-ey, but the braising is just what you want when there is still a definite chill in the air.
Oyster or baby portobello mushrooms work really well in this dish, but you can absolutely use whatever kind you like. A thicker, meatier mushroom keeps its texture better during the braising process, however.
A good tip is to deal with trimming and preparing the artichokes while the mushrooms are cooking as they will turn brown quickly. Just be ready to slice them in half once you’ve added the broth to the pan, and pop them into the pan as you cut each one. But if you want to do them ahead, just toss them into a bowl of cold water with the juice of a couple of lemons as soon as you cut them.
And yes, you can use frozen artichoke hearts instead, especially if you can’t find fresh, which is tough at this time of year.
This is a stove-top braise, though you could also transfer the pan to the oven and finish cooking it there at about 350°F, knowing it might need a bit of extra cooking time. All things considered though, when you think “braise” it usually translates to “long”, and this dish is really fairly quick once the chicken and mushrooms are sautéed.
This would be lovely served on top of just about any starch you can think of, from quinoa to mashed potatoes to any kind of rice. Another idea would be to add some halved baby potatoes in along with the artichokes.
If you want to add a bit of freshness and color, sprinkle over some chopped parsley at the end.
Braised Chicken, Mushrooms and Baby Artichokes
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pound oyster or baby portobello mushrooms cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 20 baby artichokes
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- Cut each chicken breast in half, and trim off any excess fat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet, and sauté the chicken over medium high heat for about 2 minutes on each side, just until light golden brown on the outside. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté over high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms give up their liquid and it evaporates, and the mushrooms start to become golden brown. Add the white wine (careful it might sputter up a bit) and simmer for about 4 minutes, until about half of the wine has evaporated.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, trim the bottoms and pointy tops off the artichoke hearts, and remove any tough outer leaves. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise.
- Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, sage and broth to the pan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then cover the pan, lower the heat, and cook with the liquid at a very gentle simmer for about 25 minutes, until the artichokes are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes, until the liquid has reduced a bit. Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed.
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