If it's possible to have a soul food, artichokes are mine. Okay, and chocolate. There's never not a time when I want artichokes. They are good roasted, grilled, boiled, marinated, on top of salads, on an antipasti platter, or straight from the jar. I'm not picky. I'm also not a big quinoa fan, so if we're going to make a quinoa recipe it better have some really good stuff in it...like artichokes.
We made some changes to the original recipe to suit our tastes. It called for cooking the chicken breasts whole and serving it with the quinoa as a side item, but we cut the chicken into chunks and mixed it up. It also called for a 6-ounce jar of artichokes, but we put a whole 12-ounce jar in, because artichokes. And we omitted the parsley because a) I hate parsley and b) we didn't have any. We substituted thyme instead.
It turned out really delicious. I loved the artichokes and olives, and the thyme gave everything an earthy flavor. This dish does need some kind of acid to give it complexity, so I highly recommend you not skip the balsamic vinegar at the end. I want to try to make a balsamic glaze over the top for the next time we make this so the flavor is even more concentrated.
This cooks up fairly quickly, and while it's not quite a one-pot meal, it's close. If you start boiling the quinoa before you saute the chicken, there's a decent chance you'll finish both at the same time. If you want to make this vegetarian, just leave out the chicken and add the carrots. It's an easy, healthy quinoa recipe, so you can eat your artichokes and feel good about it, too.
E & B
simple quinoa with artichokes and chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced (we used four)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
fresh thyme, to taste
3/4 cup quinoa (we used Trader Joe's Tri-Color Quinoa)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup very thinly sliced carrots (we didn't have any, so we left them out)
1 12-ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained
1 small jar black or kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup green scallion onions
balsamic vinegar (we used this champagne dark balsamic vinegar, but any will do)
Season chicken chunks with salt, pepper, and oregano.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Put chicken into pan and saute.
When the chicken is about halfway done, add the garlic and cook until done.
Remove from pan and toss in a bowl with fresh thyme.
Place quinoa and chicken broth in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in carrots, if using, then simmer covered for 2 minutes more.
Remove from heat, and stir in artichokes, olives, chicken, and scallion onions.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar while still warm.
Enjoy your artichokes with a side of chicken and quinoa.
According to my calculations, this made six servings, each at 272 calories. Not too terrible, since it's pretty much a complete meal, although if you wanted to add some roasted broccoli or green beans as a side I don't think they'd go amiss.