Artichoke plants growing in fields along the Pacific Coast Highway between Half Moon Bay and Carmel are laden with big green “buds”. Signs along coastal Route 1 advertise artichokes 10/$1.00. While not everyone can benefit from farmers’ market prices it’s still time to celebrate early spring with this rich and delicious stew.
PCH Chicken Artichoke Stew
6-8 organic boneless chicken thighs, skins removed, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 medium sized leeks, cut into 1/4 inch slices diagonally
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups organic gluten free chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh grated zest of an organic lemon
1/4 cup organic lemon juice
8 artichoke hearts (canned, fresh, or defrosted) quartered
3/4 cup organic mild green olives, pitted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Combine the bean flour, salt, pepper, and spices in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to blend.
2. Toss the pieces of chicken in the flour mixture to coat evenly, in batches if necessary, placing the coated pieces on a plate. Reserve any of the flour mixture.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy duty soup pot over a medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the coated chicken pieces in batches, covering the bottom of the pot with a single layer per batch. Let the pieces sit for 2 minutes or until lightly browned before stirring to brown the other (side), cooking again for 2 minutes. Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon and repeat until all have been browned.
5. Add any remaining flour mixture to the pan, cook over a medium low heat for a minute before adding 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Stir to deglaze the pan. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more broth. When the consistency of the (roux) is even, add the rest of the broth in 2 portions, whisking each time until the consistency of the sauce is even.
6. Add the chicken pieces, artichoke hearts, olives, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Add a little water to thin the sauce if necessary. Correct the seasoning with extra fresh ground pepper and/or salt if necessary.
7. Serve over rice, quinoa, or Moroccan Rice Pilaf with Currants and Almonds.