Chicken With Artichokes and Lemon

Chicken With Artichokes and Lemon

If you like artichokes as much as I do, this recipe, often made at Passover by Jews from Morocco, is for you. You can use fresh or frozen artichokes, though trimming fresh artichokes is worth the effort for their delicate texture. To save waste, boil the trimmed artichoke leaves about 15 minutes until tender in water with a lemon, then enjoy them for lunch, dipping them into an easy sauce of yogurt spiked with a spoonful of Dijon mustard. Easily made in a frying pan, this tagine goes well with couscous, or a quinoa or bulgur pilaf, though that might depend on your Passover traditions, and Moroccan Jews do not allow rice or couscous. The dish can easily be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated or even frozen.
– via The New York Times

YIELD 4 to 6 servings
TIME 1 hour


2 large lemons
8 fresh globe artichokes (or 8 frozen artichoke bottoms, quartered, or about 1 1/2 cups frozen artichoke hearts)
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more to garnish
½ teaspoon saffron
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups chicken broth, plus more if needed


If using fresh artichokes, fill a large bowl with water. Cut 1 lemon in half then squeeze the juice into the water; add the spent lemon halves to the bowl, too.

Prepare the artichokes one at a time, rubbing them all over with the spent lemon halves as you cut and expose the inner artichoke heart. First, cut off at least 1 inch of the thorny top. Trim the stem near the heart, leaving about 2 inches of stem if possible, then peel off the outer green fiber of the stem. Using your fingers, tear off the tough outer leaves, then switch to a sharp paring or bird’s beak knife, when necessary, to shave more inner artichoke leaves until you reach the tender pale green or yellow leaves and create a bulbous shape. Gently open the leaves and remove the choke using a grapefruit spoon or melon baller, then scrape and tear (or slice) the remaining leaves off so that only the bottom remains. Cut the artichoke heart in quarters; put the quarters in the lemon water as you work to prevent discoloration. Discard the rest of the artichoke, leaves and stem, or reserve for another use.

Pat chicken dry, then season all over with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, skin-side down. Cook, undisturbed until well browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken thighs to a plate and spoon out about 3 tablespoons of fat from the pan, if desired. (You can discard the excess fat or save for another use.)

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onion, garlic, parsley and saffron. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the onion, then stir to combine.

Add the broth to deglaze, scraping the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the pan skin-side up. Arrange the artichokes between the chicken pieces, cover, and simmer over medium-low until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.

Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the sauce is thickened and the artichokes slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the juice from half the remaining lemon, taste, and adjust with salt and more lemon juice if needed. Spoon artichokes and pan sauces over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley to garnish, and serve.