Chicken with Artichokes in a Smoky Cream Sauce

I’m on day seven of the South Beach Diet (or, as I like to call it, the South Beach Challenge) and I’m finding more ways to make delicious food without missing pasta.

Last night was chicken with roasted red peppers, capers and artichoke hearts in a smoky cream sauce. Ok, ok, I broke a few guidelines on this one. I used chicken thighs when the diet recommends white meat and I used half and half. The official cookbooks recommend fat-free half and half (which sounds like an oxymoron to me) but when I looked at the ingredients at the grocery store, the second ingredient was corn syrup. What the? That’s why I stuck to the regular kind.

Chicken and Artichokes in a Smoky Cream Sauce

Here’s how to make it.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
olive oil
2 skinless chicken breasts (or 4 thighs), cut into large chunks
1 roasted bell pepper, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs. capers
6 canned artichoke hearts, cut in half
1/4 cup chicken stock (eyeball it)
1/4 cup half and half or milk (eyeball it)
1/4 cup fresh or canned chopped tomatoes (eyeball it)
1 Tbs. smoked paprika
salt and pepper
handful of chopped fresh basil

Chicken and Artichokes in a Smoky Cream Sauce

Directions:
Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high. Salt and pepper the chicken. When the olive oil is just starting to smoke add the chicken. Brown both sides (about 5 minutes each side). Refrain from moving the chicken around to ensure a nice golden brown. Set chicken aside.

Chicken and Artichokes in a Smoky Cream Sauce

Add the peppers, onion, garlic, capers and artichokes and sauté till onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan and pour in the tomatoes, stock, cream and paprika. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken it up a little. Turn down the heat and cover. Let simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done all the way through. Toss in the basil and cook uncovered another minute or so, combining everything.

Chicken and Artichokes in a Smoky Cream Sauce

Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if you like.

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