I am a sucker for kitchen paraphernalia. Those closest to me know my weakness and feed it, to my unending delight. The most recent addition to my culinary collection is this bright red, personalized casserole. I love anything that will inspire me in the kitchen, so this is clearly a gift I will cherish for many years to come.
No one will ever inadvertently walk away with this dish.
Super Bowl Sunday is a day I traditionally spend in the kitchen. This year was no different. Cooking was on the agenda and I wanted to test drive my new cookware.
Alas, the roads were icy and I had just returned from a week of business travel, so grocery shopping was not high on my to-do list. I wanted to make something elegant and easy for a friend who was coming for dinner. We planned to ignore the Big Game and watch the final episode of the addictive PBS series Downton Abbey.
The pickings were slim but serviceable. First, I defrosted a package of frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Next, I grabbed a can of quartered artichoke hearts - the kind packed in water, not marinated, a jar of martini olives - a staple in my refrigerator, and a bottle of white wine - ditto the staple status. That's all it took to make a delicious, easy, and healthy meal, a meal that would delight the most discerning palates, even Lord and Lady Grantham.
It was so good and so easy that it occurred to me this might also be the perfect Valentine's Day meal, especially cooked and served in my new casserole. There's almost no prep time, thereby freeing up valuable time for romance. It's so simple, even a kitchenphobe could dazzle her sweetie with mad cooking skills. This recipe is perfect for experienced and reluctant foodies alike, just right for a non-cook like my BFF, Rachel Toor, who uses her stove as an impromptu recycling bin.
Honestly, nothing could be easier. You should definitely give it a try.
Valentine's Day Chicken & Artichoke Casserole
1 1/2-2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or breasts)
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water)
10-12 large Spanish Olives, stuffed with pimentos
1 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350º. Place chicken in a 3 quart casserole dish. Drain artichoke hearts and place them on top of the chicken. Cut olives in half and sprinkle on top of artichokes. Add white wine. Season to taste. Cover with casserole lid or aluminum foil and place in center of preheated oven. Cook until chicken is done and tender, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Ready to go into the oven.
Serve with a simple salad, a crusty baguette, and a bottle of Prosecco and you'll set the mood for a perfect evening without straining your budget or your busy schedule.