I love to do things in the kitchen that take up a lot of time, tasks that feel special and maybe a little fussy. Things such as soaking precious beans overnight, shucking pounds of fresh peas from their pods, and gingerly trimming thorny raw artichokes to steam and eat with clarified butter.
I also love convenience, and, well, none of those things is convenient.
Especially trimming artichokes, which are, without a doubt, one of the more annoying vegetables to prepare and cook, and not to mention hyper-seasonal. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to enjoy them year-round and at a moment’s notice.
This is why I have come to not only accept but also truly love the workaround. Canned or jarred artichokes are widely available, and boy, do they hit the spot. I am partial to the whole, unmarinated baby variety because I love small, cute vegetables, but also because they come trimmed and cooked, their leaves soft and feathery with fork-tender hearts.
The only thing about these otherwise-perfect little artichokes is that, unlike the marinated ones, they come in a slightly tangy but not especially seasoned brine. (Most simply have a little salt and some citric acid to prevent oxidation.) So they need a little bit of help in the flavor department, as even a fresh artichoke does, but I see that as an opportunity to cook them in a skillet full of chicken fat and white wine.
Typically, for a recipe like this, I might say, “Go ahead, use another meat like pork chops,” but here, I will not, because artichokes, wine and chicken have an affinity for one another that can’t be replicated. While the specific parts of chicken are up for negotiation (I am partial to thighs), the bone-in, skin-on part is not. You need the skin for its fat, which will render as the skin crisps, and which you can use to sear onions and those aforementioned artichoke hearts, and the bones, which add flavor and ensure against drying out.
I like to serve this dish straight from the skillet to reinforce the vaguely “French countryside chic” vibe I am going for, finishing it with a shower of herbs. I like mint with the artichokes best of all, but I know you’ll be happy with anything tender and leafy, such as parsley, tarragon or dill.