Friends, I won’t belabor the point. It’s cold. New England is in the midst of a Winter-rager. We’re all bundled-up and dodging plows in a real-life snow globe. An extendable car scraper is the must-have seasonal accessory. I’ve set my phone to receive Twitter alerts from MEMA. My boss and I had an in-depth discussion Friday afternoon specifically regarding the traction of Hunter wellies on an icy sidewalk. Okay, maybe I’m belaboring; I’ll cut to the chase.
We’re all seeking warmth and comfort wherever we can find it. This rich chicken stew is coziness and contentment in a bowl. The chicken thighs add a terrific depth of flavor and the spice blend of turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon brings a unique brightness to the dish. It tastes like it’s been simmering all day, but it comes together in less than an hour. I think this would work with chicken breasts, as well, although I definitely recommend using thighs. This is delicious by itself or even heartier over a bowl of jasmine rice.
Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives
Adapted from Epicurious.com
8 organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 11/2 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 – 3 sprigs of thyme
2 cups organic chicken broth
2 tsps grated lemon zest
3 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
8 jarred artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 cup pitted green olives*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or microgreens
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in 2 batches and cook until well-browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken 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, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and thyme and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest and 2 tbsp of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, allowing the liquid to thicken.
Add the chicken, cannellini beans, artichoke hearts and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through (about 5 minutes). Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt. Garnish with parsley or microgreens.
* If you can find them, Whole Foods has a selection of Halkidiki olives marinated in lemon and garlic and they’re perfect for this dish – otherwise use your favorite variety!
Enjoy! Stay warm!