Plus, How to Prepare Baby Artichokes with Step-by-Step Photos
Enjoy crispy skin roasted chicken thighs with a white wine pan sauce and roasted spring vegetables. Includes step-by-step photos showing how to prepare baby artichokes.
At risk of turning this blog into the weekly snow update, we still have some snow on the ground. Our last storm wasn’t as bad as originally predicted, but I wouldn’t say it feels like spring yet. It’s definitely a good time to turn on the oven and enjoy some roast chicken, while also getting excited for spring vegetables.
This is a simple easy dinner. For the chicken thighs, I browned the skin so it would crisp up and then baked them the rest of the way. I roasted all the vegetables on just one sheet pan. Lastly, I made a quick pan sauce using the same skillet I used to brown the chicken. We ate it with rice, and the pan sauce is great over rice. I talked about how much we love chicken jus with rice in this post. Check it out if you are looking for a recipe to roast a whole chicken.
Baby artichokes used to only be available in stores in springtime, but I honestly have been seeing them almost year-round now. Baby artichokes are small and tender enough that you can eat the choke part, unlike with a larger artichoke. When you roast them, they get slightly sweet, and the edges get just a little crispy. I think I like them better than jarred marinated artichokes. Last spring was the first time I ever bought them though. They’re relatively easy to prepare, but it’s not the most obvious thing if you’ve never done it before. So I decided to take photos of each step in case you’re not familiar with how to trim them. (The time to prepare the artichokes is also included in the recipe cook time.)
First, I mixed the juice of one lemon with some cold water in a small mixing bowl. After I trimmed each artichoke, I put it in the lemon water immediately. This prevents the artichoke from turning brown. (You’ll see that the artichoke was already turning brown during the time I was taking photos.)
Then I used a serrated knife to cut off the top one third of the artichoke. (I don’t have a serrated paring knife, so I was using a steak knife.)
Then I peeled off the outer layers by hand. Make sure to remove all the leaves that are too tough to eat.
I used a vegetable peeler to peel the stem.
Trim off just the end of the stem.
And cut in half lengthwise before dropping into the lemon water.
After the first two, I got a lot faster at prepping them. You can also prepare them up to a day in advance and just leave them in the fridge in the lemon water.
Here are the rest of the main ingredients.
I generally make two chicken thighs per person (this recipe serves four). With the baby artichokes, I also roasted carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas, and green onions. Radishes lose all their bite and become almost sweet when roasted. Green onions get very sweet at the bulb end and crispy at the greener end. The first time I had roasted green onions was with a fish dish, which I wrote about and replicated in this post. Now I’ll throw them in any time I make roasted vegetables.
Here are those roasted chicken thighs. When I served them, Jonathan immediately ripped off the crispy skin from his and ate that first. He will always eat his favorite part of the meal first, while I’ll save it for last.
During the last 10 minutes of the vegetable roasting time, I made a quick pan sauce. I used the same skillet I used to brown the chicken thighs in, so I had some rendered chicken fat and some of the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan (called fond) to flavor the sauce. I don’t recommend using a nonstick skillet for searing proteins because, well, if nothing sticks, you don’t get that same depth of flavor in the sauce. Anyway, I cooked some minced garlic in the chicken fat, deglazed with white wine, cooked until most of the wine evaporated, and then added some chicken broth and reduced the sauce. The sauce is so good spooned over the chicken and over rice or mashed potatoes, whatever starch you want to serve this meal with.
If you’re serving family style, one option for presentation is to put the chicken thighs back in the skillet over the sauce.
No matter how you serve it, this chicken dinner is a crowd pleaser. You have to try it!