What we do know is that when my sister was living in Italy, my Italian cousin's then-girlfriend taught this lemon chicken recipe to my sister. And we know that it's made with a combination of lemon, garlic, olive oil, dry white wine, chicken, and basil.
Where it gets less clear is where my cousin's then-girlfriend got this recipe. You see, if you start doing some internet research, you find plenty of Italian chicken recipes with artichokes. And you see a lot of recipes that combine lemons with basil but not with chicken.
But the lack of an exact origin story shouldn't deter you -- this recipe has some of the most iconic Italian flavors all in one dish. And it's as suited to a weeknight meal as it is to a dinner party.
Tips To Make This Recipe
This recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to make. However, there are a few keys to make it a success:
How To Serve This Dish
The ingredients for this dish are available year-round so you can serve it really any time you'd like. But I'm a fan of cooking it during spring when it's no longer cold but not quite hot out.
Serve this with roasted potatoes or over polenta for a complete meal. It's also delicious with a simple green salad topped with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some shavings of good cheese.
See The Recipe Made Step By Step
Heads up that we made this recipe during one of our weeknight cooking classes. So, if you want to see it made step by step -- and get a glimpse of the menu we'd pair this with -- go ahead and watch the recording of the class!
Okay, now stock up your pantry with all the Italian essential ingredients, then try your hand at making this. Remember to share your creation with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
or chicken breasts
plus more for garnish
sliced 1/4 inch thick, ends and seeds discarded
cloves separated and peeled and halved
can use gluten-free flour (optional)
(like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or unoaked Chenin Blanc)
(we like Cucina & Amore brand), drained and cut into halves or quarters
Prepare The Chicken: Cut the chicken into 2-inch by 1-inch pieces and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper then set aside until ready to use.
Make The Lemon Garlic Oil: Meanwhile, place the oil in a large (ideally 12 inches or larger) frying pan over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the garlic and cook until it’s golden about 2 minutes. Add the lemon slices and cook until the lemons start to soften and the garlic is golden for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then remove the lemons and garlic to a plate.
Partially Cook The Chicken: Return the pan (with the olive oil still in it) to the stove over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the chicken and cook until the chicken pieces just start to turn white. Flip over and repeat on the other side. To clarify, you’re not looking to cook them all the way through here but rather about 75% through -- you may need to do this in batches).
Partially cover and let cook until the chicken is about 95% cooked, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover and remove the chicken to a plate.
Add Flour To The Chicken: Return pan to stove over medium heat, and, if using, sift the flour over the oil. Let it cook until the raw flour taste is cooked off, about 1 to 2 minutes then add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
Add the rinsed artichoke hearts and cook until the artichokes just start to break down and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 to 5 minutes.
TIP: For the artichoke hearts, you can do it yourself. However, we keep jarred grilled artichoke hearts on hand to make this a quick weeknight dinner. Ideally, you’d buy jarred grilled artichoke hearts that are packed in oil but you can use canned or frozen if that’s all you can find.
Finish The Dish: Stir in the chicken, lemons, and garlic and cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat, season with additional salt and pepper as desired, and taste the sauce, adding a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in all the basil and serve immediately.
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