The last three months feel like a blur and I feel a bit sheepy for being MIA. That being said, I have been doing my best to keep yummy nourishing food on the table at our house and I’ve been thinking of you all while I’m at it. I continue to patiently await for Spring to actually arrive (snow again this morning, what the heck!) so I figured an early Spring recipe would possibly encourage her to show up. A tasty and simple one pot meal, this recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs with olives, potatoes, artichokes and lemon is an easy weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy. Spring, where are you? Did you know that spring greens like kale, spinach and dandelion are naturally detoxifying? So are all of those spring herbs that are beginning to peek through the soil. Spring is a time of growth and cleansing and I’m not talking about a juice fast. One of my favorite things to do this time of year and simply begin to lighten things up. Less of the hearty, earthy ingredients like sweet potatoes and more of the light and bright greens, herbs and splashes of citrus. In short, get as much green on your plate to help your body naturally transition from winter to spring!
Health Benefits of Artichokes
Did you know that artichokes are great detoxifiers too? It’s so cool to learn about foods that naturally decrease inflammation in our body. Artichokes are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, such as quercetin, rutin, gallic acid and cynarin that act like vacuum cleaners, sucking up the free radicals that cause diseases like cancer. Eating artichokes has also been linked to improved cardiovascular function, supporting the gut flora, reducing symptoms related to digestive disease, boosting the immune system and supporting the liver’s detoxification pathways.
One of my favorite way to purchase artichoke hearts is frozen as the only ingredient is artichokes. Trader Joe’s frozen artichokes are a favorite in our house. If I purchase a canned or frozen artichoke I look varieties packed in water or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Remember, quality of oil is important. Remember that label reading trick? Head to the ingredient list and ask yourself, “Can I buy these ingredients in the store? Would I?”
Roasted Chicken with Olives, Potato, Artichoke and Lemon
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4-6)
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces red or white potatoes, quartered
- 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts, packed in water
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives (cerignola or castelvetrano)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or chives or scallions or parsley)
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 lemons, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until until the skin is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Add stock garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano and stir to combine.
- Add the artichokes, potatoes and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat in the braising liquid.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, basting it with the liquid and moving the vegetables to the sides.
- Transfer skillet to oven. Roast, until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30-40 minutes.