Friday, 14 September 2012
This is a delicious and simple to prepare entree that I probably haven't made in about two years now. It was something that I used to cook up for the Mr quite often when I cooked at the Manor down South. It was his favourite meal and he would often ask for it.
I never minded . . . I love it when people love to eat what I cook and making them happy . . . well, it makes me happy. I was sitting here thinking yesterday, looking at a package of chicken breasts and then I thought to myself, in all the years I made this for the Mr . . . I never ever actually made it for us at home. Time to rectify that!!!
It's no surprise that it was one of his favourite suppers. The chicken always turns out moist. I'm not sure why that is . . . Perhaps it's those tangy marinated artichokes in the topping . . . could they be the secret tenderizing ingredient??? All that flavour . . . garlic and herbs . . . and the slight tang of the artichokes, meltingly tender . . .
Maybe it's that creamy mayonnaise that you stir the artichokes into??? I like to use a good quality mayonnaise . . . Hellman's or a French Mayonnaise. You can use low fat. They both work quite well, although you may find the low fat one to be a bit sweeter.
Do you think it might be all that delicious Parmesan cheese??? It adds a deliciously savoury and salty touch to the mix . . . going so very well with the artichokes and creamy mayonnaise . . . and the herbs . . . let's not forget the herbs . . . and the garlic too . . .
Know what I think??? I think it's all of them together . . . slathered over those tasty pieces of chicken. That and the quick cooking time . . . the ease of preparation . . . not to mention that extra little bit of love that I throw into the mix.
That, I can't help you with folks. It has to come from YOUR heart . . . but I'm sure that won't be a problem.
“Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”
*Artichoke Chicken Bake*
This is quick, easy and delicious. What more could you ask for. You can never have too many recipes like this one in your repertoire.
1 280g jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup of artichoke hearts)
135g of finely grated Parmesan Cheese (3/4 cup)
165g of good quality mayonnaise, can use low fat (3/4 cup)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
pinch of dried crushed chilies
1/2 tsp freeze dried basil
1/2 tsp freeze dried oregano
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a shallow baking dish. Place the chicken pieces into the baking dish. Season each one generously with salt and black pepper.
Stir together the artichokes, mayonnaise, garlic, crushed chilies, basil, oregano and cheese, mixing well together. Spread this mixture over top of the chicken pieces, covering them evenly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. The juices should run clear. (Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts it may not take this long.)
I want to tell you about the neatest little gadget I was sent the other day to try out! Eleanor from Shrewd PR often sends me little gadgets to test out and this time it was The New and Improved Garlic Card! I have never used a garlic card before, in fact . . . I didn't even know they existed!
Necessity is often the mother of invention and for the creator of the Garlic Card, this was definitely the case. A Swedish chef (you gotta love those Swede's) on a fishing trip was preparing his evening meal when he realized he'd forgotten to pack a garlic crusher. Knowing that his dish would not quite taste the same without a hint of garlic, he decided to improvise. He reached into his wallet, grabbed out his credit card and rubbed the clove of garlic against the embossed letters and numbers, resulting in perfectly pureed garlic . . . the Garlic Card was born. True story? I don't know! But it made for some very entertaining reading!
A hand held grater which allows you to grate cloves of garlic and even fresh ginger quickly and easily; the design of the original garlic card has been updated to create something even more ergonomic and easier to use. This new version features an ergonomic finger grip that can be used either by right or left handed people.
Unlike traditional Garlic presses, it's easy to clean. Simply run under a tap to wash away any excess garlic or ginger, or pop it into the dish washer. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy and it doesn't take up much storage room either!
Composed of rigid plastic with a patented embossed grating surface that is gentle on your fingers and nails, whilst still producing perfectly prepared garlic every time. The curved end can also be used to spread the prepared garlic onto foods such as when making Garlic Bread or Bruschetta. Rigid, easy to carry, easy to store, easy to clean and available in six colours. I think this is a real winner.
If you would like to know more or to see the card in action you can check it out here.
Thanks Eleanor!! I love it!