One of my clients has this wonderful lemon tree in her back yard. We’ve been watching it bloom and hang heavy with fruit, except all the fruit was green! I accused her of having a lime tree, but she insisted they were lemons. It took forever for the lemons to finally turn yellow-about 3 months. She gave me some and told me to make something with them.
I kind of like my tea with lemon, so made sure to save one for that, but last night I looked in my ‘fridge and cabinets to see what I had in the house. I usually start with a choice of meat to work with, so it was a little different starting with the lemon flavoring to make a dish. I found a can of artichoke hearts in water and took that out. Then, I went out back, to my little herb garden (such as it is on an apartment balcony) and I clipped a bunch of oregano. I love to use thyme with lemon, but wanted to try this instead. It goes really well with the savory taste of the artichokes.
The dish takes almost no time to make, and works well with a saute of kale or southern greens-I used garlic, sun dried tomatoes and a touch of balsamic with this. Yum!
Anyway, here’s the dish:
Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Artichokes
4 large chicken breasts, about 2 1/2-3 lbs
Olive oil spray
1/2 tsp each black and white pepper (get creative and use a little red pepper to add some heat)
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 artichoke hearts in water, quartered
1/2C dry white wine
1/2C Low sodium chicken broth
2 tbs fresh oregano leaves, minced
Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Spray a large saute pan generously with olive oil. Sprinkle one side of the chicken breasts with 1/2 of the pepper mix. Over med-high heat, place the chicken, peppered side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Sprinkle the rest of the pepper mix on top of the chicken and flip, cooking for another 4 minutes or so. Take chicken out of pan and set aside on a plate.
Re-spray pan and over medium heat, saute the garlic for one minute. Add the artichoke hearts and stir. Then add the white wine, broth and oregano leaves. Stir and cook one minute. Add back the chicken, making sure it’s covered in the sauce. Pour the lemon juice (or squeeze the fresh lemons) over the chicken and stir. Let cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding sea salt if necessary. Serve immediately.
I really enjoyed this dish! It’s savory without being too lemony and the pepper mix doesn’t over power the artichokes. Let me know how YOU like it!