Some people are into sweets, some people are into salt, some people are into acid. What do I mean by that? Sour flavors, like anything with vinegar or lemon juice. Foods like pickles, olives, sauerkraut, and capers. I’m a sucker for that salty/tart combo and if you are too, you’ll love this Artichoke Chicken Skillet.
I made a quick sauce with tomatoes (acidic), artichoke hearts (salty), and a good dose of garlic and basil. A little lemon zest brightens it all up without taking the acid over the top and a sprinkle of fresh parsley keeps the flavor fresh. The chicken simmers in the sauce, which helps infuse all the delicious flavors and keeps the meat moist. I served mine over pasta, but I’ve also eaten it in a bowl on its own as a low-carb alternative.
I can’t lie, a little shredded mozzarella melted over top of the skillet or a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese would be pretty killer (and further balance that acid), but cheese and I haven’t been getting along lately, so I skipped out. Keep that option in mind if cheese is still your game. Cheese—it’s a hard habit to break.
Artichoke Chicken Skillet
Artichoke Chicken Skillet
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts ($3.99)
- Pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided ($0.32)
- 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
- 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes ($0.99)
- 15 oz can quartered artichoke hearts ($2.50)
- 1 tsp dried basil ($0.10)
- 1 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 medium lemon) ($0.50)
- 1/4 bunch fresh parsley ($0.21)
- 12 oz cooked pasta of your choice ($0.94)
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken out to an even, 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the chicken breasts into 6 pieces, each about the size of a deck of cards. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown on each side (about 5 min. per side). If necessary, cook the chicken in batches to avoid over crowding the skillet. Remove the chicken to a plate once browned.
- While the chicken is browning, mince the garlic, drain the artichoke hearts and give them a rough chop. Chop the fresh parsley leaves and zest the lemon (use a small holed cheese grater or a zester to remove the thin, yellow layer of the lemon peel).
- After all of the chicken has browned and is removed from the skillet, add the second tablespoon of olive oil and the minced garlic. Cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the chopped artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes (with juices), dried basil, lemon zest, and about 1/8 tsp of salt. Stir to combine.
- Return the browned chicken to the skillet and nestle it down into the tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Allow the skillet to come up to a simmer, then let the chicken simmer in the skillet for 15 minutes, flipping it once half way through.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley over top, then spoon the chicken and chunky sauce over a bowl of pasta. Top with cheese if desired.
Step by Step Photos
Start by pounding 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3 breasts) until they are an even, 1/2″ thickness. This not only makes the pieces bigger, but it helps them cook quickly and evenly. To make this easy and mess-free, cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap before you begin to pound. You can use a mallet or a rolling pin. Large, hefty whacks will tend to split the chicken breast, so be kind of gentle.
After it’s pounded out, cut the chicken into pieces about the size of a deck of cards. These chicken breasts were HUGE, so each breast made 3 pieces easily. Usually I get about two pieces per breast. Season them lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on each side (about 5 min. per side). If needed, cook it in two batches to avoid over crowding the pan. After the chicken is browned, remove it to a clean plate. It’s okay if the chicken doesn’t cook through completely at this point because it will simmer in the sauce later.
While the chicken is browning, prep the rest of your ingredients. Mince three cloves of garlic, drain and chop the artichokes, and chop some parsley.
Also zest the lemon. I used the zest from about 1/2 of a lemon, or about 1 tsp. Using lemon zest instead of the juice gives that lemony flavor without adding more acidity.
After the chicken is finished browning, remove it from the skillet. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil and the minced garlic. Cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until it is soft and fragrant.
Add the chopped artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes (with juices), one teaspoon dried basil, about 1/8 tsp of salt, and the lemon zest.
Stir it all together…
Add the chicken back to the skillet and nestle it down into the tomatoes and artichokes. Allow the skillet to come up to a simmer and let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 15 minutes to finish cooking. Flip the chicken about half way through, so that both sides get a good amount of heat.
Sprinkle the fresh parsley over top and you’re good to go! This is where you’d want to add some cheese, if you’re into that.
Serve it over cooked pasta for a complete meal. NOM.