Prep for 4 (with some leftovers for another meal):
10 chicken thighs, skinless (can be done with skin on but will have more calories and fat to drain – would taste GREAT though)
10 strips of turkey bacon* **
Freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed or very well smashed and chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly and roughly chopped (got mine at the farmers market)
1 12 oz bag frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup Pino Grigio, approximately
Italian parsley, chopped
Short pasta, I used a 500g package (17.6 oz) – an 8 serving package so that there would be leftovers
Fresh organic baby spinach (I used 5 oz – 1.5 serving package), washed and dried
While cooking the chicken, boil unsalted water for pasta and cook. Whenever pasta is ready, toss with the spinach and garlic pepper. It can wait for the chicken – just give it a stir every now and then.
Prep the spinach: roughly chop and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with garlic pepper and drizzle on as much olive oil as you’d like. When the pasta is cooked, add drained pasta to bowl and toss with spinach.
Wrap the chicken thigh with turkey bacon and place in large non-stick pan (bacon ends side down):
“Lay the thigh piece open and place about 2” of the bacon end on top of the inside part. Close the thigh piece and wrap the turkey bacon around the thigh till it overlaps the piece of bacon coming out of the “fold” of the closed chicken piece.”
Season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook on medium heat till a good crust forms and then turn over to brown the top or smooth (presentation) side. Cover and continue to cook till there is a very good crust on the top. Turn over so that presentation side is on top. Cook uncovered till juices evaporate (if you want to drain off any excess oil, you’ll need to remove chicken to a plate, pour off fat, and return chicken pieces and any drained juices back to pan). Add onion and chopped garlic. Push them down between chicken pieces and gently allow them to brown. Be careful not to let the garlic get dark brown – this will ruin the taste of the entire dish.
Add the tomato pieces and push them between chicken pieces. Cover and cook till a sauce forms. Add the wine. Cover and cook for about another minute. If it is a little dry by this time, add a little water. Add frozen artichoke hearts and cover, turning heat to lowest setting.
When artichoke hearts are heated through, sprinkle parsley over contents of pan. Serve chicken with artichoke hearts on a bed of pasta in a shallow bowl and spoon some of the chicken pan liquid over pasta.
*I use turkey bacon because my husband does not want to use regular bacon. I’d rather use regular bacon because it is closer to the source than something so commercially processed as the turkey variety. When in a relationship, you learn to choose your battles.
** Time has passed. Sadly, my husband is no longer with us. He passed away in 2011. Consequently, I no longer use turkey bacon. No, there is no connection.
Thinly slice chicken pieces and add pasta and more thinly sliced and chopped fresh tomato. Spoon into 4 single serve plastic bags, label and store in freezer. For the next meal, heat through and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
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