Chicken artichoke stew.

I’ve never met a vegetable more frustrating than the artichoke.  You spend too much time on them, getting poked by little pricks in doing so, risking slicing off your palm with your sharpest knife, and possibly (if you are as clumsy as me) peeling off a fingernail or two with your peeler.  All for a teeny tiny little stub.

But damn it if that stub aint worth it.  I’ve never met a vegetable more frustrating that the artichoke but I’m also hard-pressed to name one more complex and delicious.  The texture of a cooked artichoke is like a cross between a squash and an avocado and the flavor is intensely earthy and bold; it leaves a clean, mellow taste on your tongue and, because of a compound called cynarin, makes anything you eat with it taste a touch sweeter—not good when pairing with expensive wine, but fabulous for sauteing with garlic.

Most of the time, I like to drop prepped artichokes in a bowl of lime-water so that their color stays as bright as possible.  I usually find that lemon-water will overpower the flavor of artichokes but lime won’t interfere.  I would’ve loved to show you a video of how to prep the artichokes, but thought I would save you from the barage of bad language and mini-tanrums.  For a great, frustratingly calm slide-show, click here.

I used hot-house tomatoes, peeled and seeded, because canned tomatoes would be too sweet for the sweetening effect of artichokes, and a whole chicken cut into eight pieces (you can have the butcher do this for you instead of buying chicken pieces, you get a much better quality buying whole).  Past all the prep work, this dish is simple as pie (simpler, even): throw everything in a pot with some wine and then have a glass while you wait for your fabulous dinner.

A dinner that will be amazingly good, too; one that transports you to another place, an Italian countryside maybe, where you eat while the wind whips at your hair and the wine intoxicates you.  One where you feel no embarrassment at sucking the chicken bones dry, one where that is considered flattering.  One where, even, there’s a nice man playing footsy with you under the table while you give him your come-hither eyes as you slop up the sauce with some warm, crusty bread.

Artichoke and Chicken Stew

adapted from Bon Appetit, April 1998

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, preferably farm-raised
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 medium artichokes, trimmed, halved, chokes removed 
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped, preferably hot-house unless in-season
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer onions to bowl.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pot and cook until golden on all sides, about 10 minutes. Pour off excess fat from pot. Sprinkle flour over chicken in pot; turn chicken over. Cook until flour browns lightly, about 2 minutes. Add sautéed onions, white wine and garlic to chicken. Reduce heat; simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Drain artichoke halves. Add to chicken. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and artichokes are tender, about 30 minutes. Spoon off any fat from surface of stew. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and artichokes to large platter; tent with foil. Boil sauce in pot until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and artichokes.

26 thoughts on “Chicken artichoke stew.”

  1. wow….sounds delicious….this recipe is new to me…I must make it soon…uphere in U.S. it is very hard to find ingredients… of my friend introduced me to a great resource and i thought that i pass great along as well.

  2. Your food showed up on tastespotting. Great site you have here and delicious sounding soup. I love artichokes! I once a ate a soup called velvet artichoke made with heavy cream, sherry, chicken, artichokes and bacon. Yours sounds much healthier.

    Upon reading some about your personalities, I thought you might enjoy my favorite artichoke quote…

    “After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps.” –Miss Piggy

    Good luck. Keep the great pictures coming!

  3. God, that looks/sounds amazing. Artichokes are one thing I still haven’t tried preparing myself. They’re not easy to find here at all. If I do come across some, however, i will most definitely keep this recipe in mind. 🙂

    1. They’re not very easy to find here, either, unless you want to pay a fortune… except for a few weeks in the beginning of spring. Hope you can get your hands on some.

  4. Thank you, I really, really needed that slideshow. I am embarrassingly inept at trimming artichokes. I promised myself next time I would hunt down a video or slideshow, but you did it for me. Yay!

    If I can get it down, I’ll try them with chicken, in some way since it seems to be the most beloved companion. Steve says he doesn’t like artichokes, but I think he’s wrong. I just haven’t made them well!

  5. This lovely recipe arrives just in time, while artichokes are plentiful, and a light stew is still palatable for the weather. Lovely!

    1. Local tomatoes would be fabulous, though I don’t think I’ll be able to get artichokes by then (maybe in the fall…) I’ve been using hot-house tomatoes from Canada because an article in Gourmet told me they’re not as bad for the workers, eco, etc… (a good excuse) so I’ve had tomatoes a lot lately.

      Good luck on your challenge, Anita!

  6. Ah yes, it’s a tough love, but very much worth it! I never knew about cynarin, very interesting scoop. Your photos are delightful.

  7. absolutely gorgeous. i’m so with you on the love/hate relationship w/ the artichoke. but i look at it like you can’t have the pleasure w/o the pain. it’s one of life’s best foods, in my opinion. i really love what you’ve done here. kind of a winter meets spring meal.

  8. Living in ND most people have never even heard of artichokes. Do you think the canned ones would work instead? I know that sounds awful but there isn’t a chance that I could get raw artichokes unless I ordered them from Minneapolis and had them overnighted to me.

    1. It doesn’t sound awful at all. Canned artichokes are fine here – try and buy bottled if you can though, they aren’t as tinny-tasting.

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