Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Italian Baked Chicken, with Artichoke Hearts, Tomatoes and Olives

My family is pretty easy to please. Pasta is always a hit and anything that I top with olives and artichoke hearts is sure to have them singing my praises. This past weekend I decided to throw caution to the wind and add all our favorites in one place. This Italian Baked Chicken with Artichoke Hearts, Tomatoes and Olives was born!

The best part, of course, is it wasn't difficult to make. I pan seared the chicken breast and then placed them on a bed of artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes, capers and olives to bake through and then topped with just a little mozzarella cheese. Served over a little simple angel hair pasta with a side of foccacia, it was the perfect weekend treat.

I take our weekend dinners very seriously. It is nice having the two oldest home during the day and with the weather turning warmer they play outside, and they play hard.

Like, muddy pants and dirt-smeared faces hard.

Do you remember those afternoons as a child? I would get lost in the backyard and my own imagination. I created fairy cities out of twigs, rocks and blossoms. But I also remember working up quite the appetite.

My Mom would often have a roast or the BBQ would be going. It was half the draw of the weekend.

Of course, even on the weekend I still have work to get done, cleaning, etc. I don't have all day to cook and prepare an extensive meal. I might want a fast solution to my dinner dilemma, but I don't want to sacrifice flavor.

Rummaging through the fridge I had a lot of odds and ends. The pantry held a few more goodies like the two cans of artichoke hearts. So they all went into the big baking dish.

Tossed with just a little flour to help tighten up any extra juices (even seeded those romas were juicy!)
it made a great bed for my chicken.

I slightly pounded out 4 chicken breasts then dipped them in egg and then flour before pan searing them. Then I nestled each down into my vegetables, topped them with a little cheese and baked it all till the chicken was cooked through.

This was easily done under 30 minutes and was a big hit with my family. I will be making this again throughout the Summer.

Ready for the recipe?

Italian Baked Chicken with Artichoke Hearts, Tomatoes and Olives

You Will Need:

  • 2 cans artichoke hearts, packed in water
  • kalamata olives
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1/2 c. flour, divided
  • olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the drained artichoke hearts, olives, sliced and seeded tomatoes, garlic and capers in a large mixing bowl. Toss with 2 Tbsp. flour and then transfer to a 9" x 13" baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Set up a dredging station for flour seasoned with salt and pepper and an egg wash. Add a little olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium.  Pat your chicken breasts down with a paper towel so they are completely dry before you begin dredging. Then proceed to dip each breast in your egg wash and then lightly dredge in flour. Place the chicken, 2 breasts at a time, in your heated skilled. Brown both sides, then nestle the chicken into your vegetables. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Top the chicken with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place the casserole into the oven and bake for 15 minutes before checking the chicken with a meat thermometer. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken breasts. The tomato and artichoke mixture should be baked through and bubbly.

Serve over your favorite pasts and enjoy!

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