Friday, November 22, 2019

On the MENU this Week. Italian Chicken and Artichoke bake

Another easy one pot dish, using lots of vegetables and some left over roast chicken. John loves artichokes and we buy him a large tin of artichoke hearts from an Italian supplier once a year. They do freeze but, while the tin is open, Lynne tries to use as many as she can. Fresh artichokes are in season, so you could use those as well. Or leave them out and substitute them with tender stem broccoli or even asparagus. If you leave out the chicken, and use a good vegetable stock, you have a good vegetarian meal. We used mixed grains instead of rice, which gave the dish some good texture 

1 T olive oil – 1 small onion, finely chopped - 2 cloves of garlic, chopped – 2 T finely sliced red pepper – 1 t fresh thyme – 1 t oregano– ½ cup chicken stock - 3 courgettes, thinly sliced into strips - 1 cup tomato passata - ¼ cup cream - 2 cups cooked, sliced chicken – 4 tinned artichoke hearts, quartered – 2 cups cooked rice or mixed grains – salt and freshly ground black pepper – half a ball of mozzarella, cubed

Fry the onion in the oil and a little salt until transparent; add the garlic and peppers and fry for a minute or two to soften, add the herbs and pour on the chicken stock. Add the courgettes. Let this simmer for 5 or 6 minutes. Add the tomato passata, cook for another 5 minutes, then stir in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning. In an ovenproof casserole with a lid, add the rice and the chicken and the artichokes. Pour over the sauce and stir until all the ingredients are combined. Top with the mozzarella and cover with the lid. Heat the oven to 170°C and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the dish is heated through
Serve with a good dry Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier

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