Varnadow’s Chicken And Artichoke Hearts

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My mom, whose maiden name is Varnadow (hence the name) got the Little Black Dress and I hooked on artichokes. She is very kind in that she almost always makes them the first night we come to visit, much to our delight. This craving for artichokes led us on a search for the perfect main dish that highlights our leafy friend. After much searching, we came up with this gem.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ lemon, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup white wine
1 can (14oz) whole artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

Pound chicken breasts between saran wrap into ¼ inch pieces. Start from the center and pound out, pushing outward as you pound. Cut into two-inch squares.

In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about 2-3 minutes a side until tender. Remove chicken, but keep warm – the chicken that is.

Add garlic, lemon and mushrooms to the same pan, cooking until tender. Sprinkle with flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Continue cooking about one minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil and keep stirring until mixture thickens.

Add the artichokes and chicken, simmer two or three minutes until everything is heated through.

(John A. Winters is publisher and editor of The Paper. He hangs out in the kitchen with his wife, Corby, aka the Little Black Dress, and his three sons, Caleb, Seth and Levi, known as the SONS of Thunder)

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