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From the kitchen of: Chicken and artichokes

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 8.32.59 PMArtichokes are a special food; they are a pain to prep, turn my hands a weird color, are low in calories, and simply delicious. So I overlook the downside. Something looked right about the big bag of frozen artichoke quarters I bought the other day at Fresh Market ($8) and what a find! The pale thing in the can called artichoke hearts bears no resemblance to the real thing. This product imported from Peru by a company called White Toque is the real deal. It made preparing the Chicken and Artichoke Stew tonight a breeze and it was some good!

I had two chicken legs and two thighs, tossed them in a bag with a little flour and lots of salt and pepper. Sauted them in butter and olive oil over medium heat with the lid mostly on, until crispy on all sides, then removed from the pan and set aside.

Cut 1 1/2 onions roughly. Sauteed in same pan as the chicken, salt and peppered along the way.

I had half a bottle of Cotes du Rhone in the fridge, so added
 about a half cup to the pan along with a generous squeeze
 of lemon and a teaspoon of sugar to perk the taste and counter balance the lemon. Added a generous sprinkle of dried herb, I used tarragon, and I had a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme in the fridge, so added them, too. Also added the half container of vegetable stock from the fridge. Tossed everything, then covered with the lid slightly ajar and cooked over medium heat for 15 minutes. Removed chicken pieces and set aside. Removed vegetables and set aside. Added the chicken back to the pan and cooked over low heat for another 10 or 15 minutes, til meat was cooked through.

Added the vegetables back to the pan, along with a teaspoon of capers and a few halved green olives (not sure they worked), and cooked until all felt harmonious, about 5 minutes.

NOODLE PANCAKE

While chicken pieces saute, bring a well-salted pot of water to the boil. Add pasta (any strand-like pasta, spaghetti, angel hair, etc. will work). Drain when done and toss with a little olive oil or butter. When the pasta cools down, add a little egg and a splash of cream. Heat a pan and add olive oil and butter. Don’t skimp on the fat or noodles will stick to the pan. You’ll drain and pat dry with paper towels when they’re done.

About the time you add the capers to the chicken (or 5 minutes before the chicken is done), pour the pasta into the hot pan and flatten out to fill the pan like a pancake. Let it get golden and crispy on one side, then with a spatula remove to a plate. Flip over and slide back into the hot oil and crisp the other side. Pat dry on paper towels and salt generously.

Finish that wine.

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Carol Pulitzer is an award-winning writer and illustrator. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Food & Wine Magazine, and Country Living among others. She writes and illustrates super short stories at her Little Theatre blog ( littletheatre1.com ) and can be contacted at [email protected]