The Longevity Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2013) is a practical and flavor-packed guide to promoting longer life with the food you eat. Author Rebecca Katz explains the health benefits of the main ingredient as well as menu plans for specific health issues. This braised chicken recipe with artichokes and olives was taken from chapter 7, “Protein-Building Foods.”
You can purchase this book in the Mother Earth Living store: The Longevity Kitchen.
I didn’t think it was possible to love artichokes more than I already did until I lived in Italy. There they harvest artichokes in both spring and fall, and that abundance graces their cuisine. Artichokes also enhance their health, as they stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile, which escorts toxins out of the body and also helps break down fats in the diet. Here, artichoke hearts are combined with chicken, chickpeas, and olives to create a rich, nourishing stew seasoned with a potpourri of heady and healthy spices, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and mint. For a wonderful pairing, serve it over a brown rice pilaf.
Braised Chicken Recipe with Artichokes and Olives
• 8 organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
• Sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
• Generous pinch red pepper flakes
• 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 cups organic chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
• 8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts (see note), quartered
• 1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as picholine or manzanilla
• 2 teaspoons lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro
1. Pat the chicken dry and season salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
2. Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt. Garnish with the mint. Makes 4 servings.
Cook’s Note: The artichokes hearts can be fresh, frozen and thawed, or packed in water in a jar. Whichever type you use, rinse them well. If using fresh artichoke hearts, add them right after adding the garlic.
Variation: This dish would work well using a firm white fish, such as 1 pound halibut, cut into 4 ounces pieces, in place of the chicken. Begin the recipe by sautéing the onion. Proceed as directed, but substitute vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought, for the chicken broth. Add the fish during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Per Serving: Calories: 395; Total Fat: 21.5 g (5 g saturated, 12 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 16 g; Protein: 33.5 g; Fiber: 3.5 g; Sodium: 498 mg
Who Knew? Digestion begins long before you put food in your mouth. According to nutrition expert Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN, our other senses, notably smell and sight, can jump-start the production of saliva and enzymes that promote better digestion. This so-called cephalic digestion—cephalic being Greek for “in the head”—explains why the appearance and aroma of food goes beyond mere aesthetics. According to Swift, attractive presentation, pleasing odors, and a relaxed mood improve digestion. So do yourself a favor and set the table with attractive dinnerware and light a candle or two.
More Recipes from The Longevity Kitchen
• Bento Box Soup recipe
• Pomegranate Hibiscus Cooler recipe
Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Leo Gong. Buy this book from our store: The Longevity Kitchen.