Lemon Thyme Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Artichoke Hearts

11 May

Bill and I were getting bored with the same recipes, and he has a favorite Lemon Thyme Chicken dish he gets all the time at a local restaurant. This was my attempt at – not recreating it, exactly – re-imagining it and (as he said) improving upon it. Take the time to roast the Brussels sprouts beforehand and add them into the dish at the end, it really improves the flavor. And, seriously, use cast iron skillets for the sprouts and the chicken. Things brown and caramelize so very nicely!

Makes two hefty servings with leftovers for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:

For the Brussels sprouts-
– One pound medium sprouts – ends trimmed, cut in half
– 2 TBSP olive oil
– 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– salt and pepper to taste

For the Lemon Thyme Chicken-
– Two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts – each cut in half lengthwise
– 1 TBSP dried Italian seasoning
– 1 TBSP fresh thyme, chopped
– 1.5 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp black pepper
– Juice of one large lemon (2-3 TBSP)
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1.5 cups chicken broth or stock, separated
– 2 TBSP sun dried tomatoes (the kind jarred in olive oil), chopped
– One 6.7 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I like Mezzetta Grilled)
– Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the Brussels sprouts:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the sprouts and toss to coat. Pour the sprouts into a large cast-iron skillet lightly coated with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring and turning the sprouts once halfway through the cooking time. Remove from oven and allow to rest in the skillet while the rest of the meal is prepared.

To prepare the chicken:

In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, thyme, garlic powder, and pepper. Divide the mixture and reserve one half of it for later. Using your hands, rub the other half of the seasoning into the four strips of chicken. Heat a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Cook chicken over medium heat about 5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Still over medium heat, use 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the skillet. Add the remaining broth, lemon juice, and remaining seasoning mixture. Slowly whisk in the cream and continue to whisk until mixture begins to simmer and thicken. Still stirring, add in the sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Return the chicken to the skillet (Bill prefers that I use a spatula to cut the chicken into large-ish chunks at this point), and add in the roasted Brussels sprouts. Toss everything in the sauce to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover with a large lid. Allow to rest for about five minutes to thicken and allow the flavors to mingle. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice pilaf or on top of noodles.

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