Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Artichoke Chicken

I've never been good with meat.  When I was a kid, I refused to eat on the nights we had chicken with bones in it.  My brothers would tease me other nights by squeezing their strips of steak so the blood oozed out.  I felt faint, I felt sick inside, I felt like I would never ever want to eat meat.  I loved it when my parents had a date night and we were fed macaroni and cheese with carrot sticks. 

So anyhow, all that to say that meat is icky, gross, disgusting and unpleasant and I really try to avoid cooking it whenever I can.  I've figured out that it actually can taste good a lot of times, but ugh do I hate the thought of it.  When my mom visits me, she buys chicken, dices it up and freezes it for me so I can plop it into a dish later without having to touch it.  Yes, I really am that wimpy.

But tonight I was brave.  I touched chicken, I trimmed it and I am even going to try to eat it.  (Yeah, that's another problem.  If I have to prepare meat, then I'm kind of grossed out about eating it, even though I can eat just fine when someone else makes it.  Double standard?  You bet!) 

Tonight's meal is Artichoke Chicken, based on a recipe I saw in a blog that was based on a recipe from allrecipes.com   How's that for kinda sorta giving credit where credit is due?  It pretty much sounded like artichoke dip on top of chicken, so how can that possibly be bad?

Here's the cast of characters in our case:

salt and pepper
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1/2 c italian shredded cheese
1/2 c mayo
1/4 c sour cream
1/2 tsp minced garlic
12.5 ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
bread crumbs to sprinkle on top

Combine all ingredients except chicken breast in a bowl and mix.  Place chicken in a dish and top with the mix.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.  I did this just to add color since it looked so very white.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

The big O loves to help in the kitchen and this was a great recipe for him since he could mix like crazy and then got to plop it all over.  I just made sure he didn't get contaminated by the chicken in the process.

So dinner is done.  We ate this with risotto and peas and some fruit on the side.  I'd call it successful enough to repeat again, since everyone did eat (though some of them just happened to scrape the topping off).  It would also be an easy dish for company since you can do everything ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven.

The original recipe called for parmesan, but since all the parmesan I had in the house was in the form of extra pizza packets, that's what we ended up using.  Real parmesan probably would have been better.  I'd also add a little cayenne or more garlic or something to kick it up a bit if I made it again.   And somewhere inside this recipe is a tasty casserole with rice waiting to get out.

Artichoke on Foodista

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