Like so many others, I dabble with Pinterest in my spare time. And although 90% of the things I pin may never see the light of day, every once in awhile I am so excited about a Pinterest gem that I run home and make it happen. I found this dish floating around on Pinterest and instantly knew it was going down. Especially since I had most of the ingredients already at home.
What you’ll need:
- Chicken breasts or thighs (your preference). I chose to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs but this would be just as perfect with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- 4 or 5 plum tomatoes
- a can of artichoke hearts
- a few cloves of garlic
- shredded mozzarella cheese (I used “reduced fat” to keep it lower calorie)
- fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- olive oil (regular or extra virgin – whatever you’ve got)
- flour (just a few tablespoons for thickening purposes, as the chicken will release quite a bit of liquid as it cooks)
- sugar (1 tsp.)
How to make it:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Dice the plum tomatoes and place into a large bowl. Drain the can of artichoke hearts and chop the artichoke hearts into smaller bite-sized pieces. Add them to the bowl with the tomatoes. Chop up a few cloves of garlic* (chopped, thinly sliced, minced – whatever floats your boat) and add that to the bowl with the tomatoes and artichokes. Add 1 tsp. of sugar, a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper (generously), and a few tablespoons of flour (2-3) to the bowl. Mix this all together. In a 9×13 baking dish, drizzle some olive oil (to prevent the chicken from sticking). Add your chicken to the baking dish and salt and pepper generously. Add the tomato/artichoke/garlic mixture to the baking dish, nestled around the chicken. Bake this in the oven until it’s about 5 minutes shy of being done. (Cooking time will vary depending on which type of chicken you use.) About 5 minutes before the chicken is done, pull it out of the oven and turn the broiler on “low”. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese over everything (as much or as little as you’d like) and return the pan to the oven. Keep an eye on it as it finishes under the broiler. You want the cheese to brown and bubble a bit. Once this happens, remove the dish from the oven and finish it by garnishing it with torn basil leaves.
*I never get too specific when it comes to garlic. Some people don’t care for it and other people absolutely love it. I, for example, was raised by a mother who loves, loves, LOVES garlic and passed that love on to me. So even if a recipe only calls for 2 cloves of garlic, I’ll usually toss in 5 cloves. Because I can. Because I like it. Therefore, when a recipe calls for garlic, I tend to just say “a few cloves” and leave it to each chef’s discretion.
You can serve this on top of pasta, if you are so inclined; however, I opted not to in an effort to keep the dish on the healthier side. You could also add whatever other vegetables tickle your fancy! Onions, zucchini, eggplant, spinach, etc. – there are plenty of options to make this dish your own. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I will definitely be making this again.
Although I took a few liberties in making this dish, credit for the origin of this recipe goes to this blog: http://aaronandjillw.blogspot.com/2011/08/italian-chicken.html