Wow. This was a seriously good dinner. I certainly expected both of us to like it - we like artichokes and we like chicken - but what I wasn't expecting was that throughout the entire dinner, we both kept commenting on just how tasty this was. Leave it to Cook's Illustrated but I think what made a huge difference was the addition of the chopped chicken breast into the filling. This kept the chicken from drying out so we ended up with perfectly cooked chicken and a very flavorful filling. I did adapt this recipe quite a bit - the original recipe didn't have artichokes but an artichoke-mushroom filling sounded amazing to me (okay, and we happened to have artichokes in the freezer that I wanted to use) so the recipe below is my version.
The sauce was also amazing. I left out the white wine (being pregnant and all) but even without the wine, it was still so good spooned over the chicken. Don't leave it out!
I think you could prep everything in a couple of hours or even the day before (prep the chicken, make the filling, roll up the chicken) and refrigerate it when ready to cook. I'll definitely keep this in mind next time we want a fancier dinner or are planning a dinner party. I served this with a couscous pilaf and a green salad, which worked very well.
Artichoke-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Adapted from: Annie's Eats (I'd recommend going to this link if you want the non-artichoke version)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 oz. each)
- 3 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (I used button but feel free to use another kind)
- 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme (or 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme)
- 1-2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- ½ cup dry white wine (I used water instead)
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, divided
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (I did not have on hand so I omitted)
- 1-2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Equipment: food processor, twine, skillet with cover
- If your chicken breasts have the tenderloin attached, remove the tenderloins and set aside. Using a sharp knife, butterfly each chicken breast horizontally, almost all the way through but not quite, leaving the two halves attached like the pages of a book. Open up the butterflied breasts and lay them out flat. Place each piece of chicken, laid out flat, in a large zipper-lock bag one at a time. Pound the chicken pieces to ¼-inch thickness (I omitted this step). Trim about 1½ inch from the long side of the cutlets, to remove about 1½ to 2 ounces per piece of chicken. (Use the reserved tenderloins in place of or in addition to the trimmings to equal about ½ cup total reserved chicken pieces.) Process the trimmings in a food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Transfer the puree to a medium bowl. Do not wash out the bowl of the food processor.
- To make the stuffing, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook for about 4-5 more minutes, until onion is softened. Add chopped artichokes and cook about 2 minutes. Mix in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1½ teaspoons of the lemon juice and cook until the moisture has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of the food processor. Return the pan to the heat; add the wine/water and scrape the pan to loosen browned bits. Transfer the wine mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Turn off the heat on the pan.
- Pulse the mushroom mixture in the food processor until roughly chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the pureed chicken. Mix in half of the parsley, and the salt and pepper and pulse once to combine.
- With the chicken breasts laid out flat, spread a quarter of the filling mixture over each of the breasts, leaving a clear edge around the perimeter. Roll up each breast as tightly as possible without squeezing out the filling and place seam-side down. Tie evenly with 3 pieces of twine around each chicken breast.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken bundles and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add the broth and reserved wine/water mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 160˚ F, about 12-18 minutes. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and tent loosely with foil.
- While the chicken is resting, whisk the mustard into the cooking liquid. Bring the heat to a high simmer, scraping the pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Simmer until reduced to ½ cup, about 7-10 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in 1 Tbsp. butter, remaining parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, adding more butter and/or lemon juice to taste. Remove the pieces of twine, slice the chicken pieces on a slight diagonal, and serve with sauce spooned over the top.