Last summer, I went antiquing in the town we moved to a couple years ago. I’m not a big antique-seeking girl but I was curious and on the lookout for props for this little food blog of mine. I stumbled upon a book called The I Hate To Cook Cookbook, published in 1960. I browsed through it, started laughing out loud, and had to buy it, it just spoke to me. I finally made something from this book ~ Braised Chicken with Artichokes in Mushroom-Sherry Sauce. The delightful, witty author, Peg Bracken, refers to this dish as “Chicken-Artichoke Casserole” in her “Company’s Coming” chapter. I had to make it!
Not too long ago, NYT Cooking adapted the recipe, extolling the virtues of Peg Bracken and her book, reason number two I had to try this recipe. Anyway, the adaptation was almost exactly as Ms. Bracken wrote, just adding more mushrooms, which is exactly what I would have done, too. And I opted for smoked paprika and chicken thighs, instead of regular paprika and a whole cut-up chicken. Minor changes!
Now for the sherry. I have never bought or cooked with sherry. When I tried to find it, I had a hard time so I headed to a wine store. I wanted dry sherry, not the sweet stuff, and while I didn’t necessarily want the cheapest bottle, I didn’t want to break the bank either. I settled on a sherry from Spain for about $10, it was very good. Do not use cooking sherry!!
This cookbook definitely has it’s fair share of recipes that call for canned cream soups and consommé/bouillon. It reminded of something my mom would have liked and used in the sixties. Not my dad, though, he was the best cook and never, ever used canned cream soups in his dishes, he wouldn’t even think to! But I think he would have liked this braised chicken and artichoke dish, too, just like me ~ great minds and all.
This Braised Chicken with Artichokes in Mushroom-Sherry Sauce is definitely one to pull out for company, but just as good and easy to put on the table any night of the week. The chicken is so tender, you can cut it with a fork. And the artichokes are perfect with the mushroom and sherry sauce. It’s simple and no-fuss but also impressive and comforting ~ sure to impress your guests or family.
Simple and elegant braised chicken dish, with artichokes and mushrooms in a sauce made with chicken stock and sherry. Equally impressive for entertaining or on the table for the family.
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 6 tablespoons butter (I used salted Kerrygold)
- 8 ounces mushrooms, white button or cremini, wiped clean and quartered
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¾ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 12- to 15-ounce can or jar artichoke hearts, quartered, drained
Preheat oven to 375º. Combine salt, pepper and paprika and then season chicken thighs evenly all over with mixture.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and then add 4 tablespoons of butter. Place chicken skin side down and brown well, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown other side for about 3 more minutes. Do this in two batches and adjust heat accordingly as needed. Remove to a large Dutch oven with lid, or casserole dish.
Drain off butter and wipe pan relatively clean. Add 2 more tablespoons butter and when melted, add the mushrooms. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, adding a little more butter if dry and starting to burn. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat for about 30 seconds. Pour in chicken stock and sherry, simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the artichoke pieces around and in between the chicken thighs. Pour the mushroom-sherry sauce over the chicken and artichokes. Cover and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Serve with rice or potatoes.
- I've used white button and cremini mushrooms. My husband loves creminis, I like both. Either works, your preference.
- I used jarred artichokes that were already quartered. Do not use marinated artichokes, watch the label and buy ones canned in water.
*Adapted from The I Hate To Cook Cookbook, by Peg Bracken
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