Whelp, I’m back. I know I disappeared for a bit, but so much has been going on.
This past weekend I saw a few of my childhood friends (you might remember them from my visit to Cleveland), and I got to give two of them, who happen to be married, a blanket I made for their second child who’s due in June. It was my first time sewing a blanket, as opposed to crocheting, and it definitely came out a little crooked. I realize you can’t tell unless you really stare at it though, so whatever.
I order these little tags to sew into the lining. On one side it says “Handmade by Amy Carota <3” and on the back it has washing instructions. So cute, right?! The blanket is a white fleece on one side and just a cute fabric on the other, with a satin trim. I’m excited to try to make another one soon, so hopefully another of my friends will get preggo :)
Today, I officially had my last day at work! I said my goodbyes to everyone, and they even got a Carvel ice cream cake for me. Yum :)
I spent Wednesday morning looking at a couple houses, because I could. It was the last time I could really take off part of a weekday, since I start my new job on Monday. Saturday I’m going to look at MORE houses (10 I believe). I think I must be setting a record with the amount of houses I’ve seen in the last 3 weeks. I definitely know the things I do and don’t want, though, which makes it extra hard since I’m picky!
As you might imagine, I haven’t had much time to cook, and thus to share yummy recipes with you. I did manage to make us this meal last night. It was something I pinned a few weeks ago and finally got around to making.
I loved the combination of flavors and ingredients. They definitely aren’t ones I find myself eating often. It had the perfect balance of protein and veggies (and carbs since I served it over brown rice). The spices are really delicious and unique.
I made this after I got home from work, so unlike the Tomato Quiche, you could easily make this for a weeknight meal ;)
Hopefully I’ll be back soon with a cookie recipe I baked up this week too!
Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs- about 1.5 pounds (you MUST use thighs or they’ll dry out)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts (see note), quartered
1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as picholine or manzanilla (I used pimento stuffed ones because that’s all I could find)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro (I used mint)
Pat the chicken dry and season salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt.
Garnish with the mint.
The artichokes hearts can be fresh, frozen and thawed, or packed in water in a jar. Whichever type you use, rinse them well. If using fresh artichoke hearts, add them right after adding the garlic.
Variation: This dish would work well using a firm white fish, such as 1 pound halibut, cut into 4 ounces pieces, in place of the chicken. Begin the recipe by sautéing the onion. Proceed as directed, but substitute vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought, for the chicken broth. Add the fish during the last 5 minutes of cooking.