Chicken Artichoke Casserole with Creamy Chardonnay Sauce

Chicken Artichoke Casserole  with Creamy Chardonnay Saucechicken artichoke casserole

(from Spicy Southern Kitchen blog)

The recipe I found for this suggested making it in the spring, but I don’t really go by that.  Since the artichokes are frozen, it doesn’t really matter.  I love everything about artichokes.  I first bought whole ones this year, and that helped me appreciate the work that goes into finding the little jewel in the center of that big thistle.  The flavor of artichokes really is unparalleled.  They’re buttery, verdant, creamy.  They’re definitely what I’d call an A-list vegetable.  I cringed a little when I saw that one box of the frozen hearts goes for $4.  I’m very thrifty in the kitchen usually, but I do like to splurge sometimes.  And I also remembered the work it takes to reach the heart of the artichoke.  If you’ve never bought whole, fresh artichokes, I’d recommend it.  It’s a lot of work, but if you love artichokes like I do, you’ll gain new appreciation.  There’s the trimming, the cutting, the soaking, the blanching, the seasoning, the grilling, the peeling.  But then you get to the center, and you forget about all of that.  I’m sorry for the tangent.  But artichokes are one of those gems of the food world, and I revere them.

Serves 8-10

Difficulty level: easy

Total time 2 hours

 

For the chicken:

 

4 8-10 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

Olive oil spray

Salt and pepper

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray
  3. Place chicken breasts on pan, spray with nonstick spray, and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cover pan with tinfoil until chicken has reached room temperature.
  5. Dice chicken into chucks, roughly the same size as a quartered artichoke.
  6. Set chicken aside.

 

 

For the Sauce:

 

½ medium onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup butter

½ cup flour

½ bottle of white wine

2 cups chicken broth

Pinch each of dried thyme, sage, celery seed

1 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened

½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

 

  1. Sautee the onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until transluscent.
  2. Add the flour and whisk constantly until a paste has formed.
  3. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and add the chicken broth and dried herbs.
  4. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese and cook over medium low for ten minutes, whisking on and off the incorporate.

 

 

For the Casserole:

 

2 9 oz boxes of frozen quartered artichokes, brought to room temperature

6 cups of cooked farro (I used Simply Balanced from Target—it’s pre-cooked, 3 packages)

One recipe Diced Baked Chicken

Creamy Chardonnay Sauce

A handful of torn fresh basil

1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup sliced raw almonds

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the artichokes, farro, chicken, sauce, and basil until combined.
  3. Spread evenly into casserole dish. This recipe actually fits in one large, then one small casserole dish.  I make a lot because we have a lot of people to feed!
  4. Sprinkled parmesan evenly over casserole. Sprinkle almonds on top.
  5. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Uncover, turn the oven up to 375, and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Take it out the oven and let it set for 20 minutes before eating.

 

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