Tuscany Chicken

Tuscany ChickenI’d just come home from the market, and started putting away the groceries. As I was thinking about what I’d be making for dinner, I saw a few things I’d not yet put into the fridge: a package of chicken breasts, fresh asparagus, a box of little tomatoes, and a can of artichokes. They looked like they’d be friends, so I decided to see what I could do with them. ūüėČ

My first thought was to roast some garlic to go with it. I highly suggest learning to roast garlic, and keeping the simple recipe in your brain for future dinners. Here’s a link to follow: How to Roast Garlic. (For this recipe, just use the garlic cloves without mashing them.)

The beautifully roasted garlic cloves
The beautifully roasted garlic cloves

When I pulled the garlic out of the oven, it occurred to me that the tomatoes would be wonderful if I roasted them too, so I halved them, and popped them in the oven to get all of the natural sweetness to come out.

Roasting Tomatoes, before and after: You won't even need oil!
Roasting Tomatoes, before and after: You won’t even need oil!

Then I grabbed some beautiful lemons and a rasp. If you don’t have one of these, it may be time to invest in one. They’re huge time savers!

Grating lemon peel with a rasp only takes a couple of minutes!
Grating lemon peel with a rasp only takes a couple of minutes!

Once I had tons of fragrant, grated lemon peel, I sliced up a bunch (7) green onions.

Tuscany Chicken - sliced green onions

Then I cut up the asparagus:

Here are the sizes to cut up your super-skinny asparagus.
Here are the sizes to cut up your super-skinny asparagus. You’ll cut the bottoms smaller, since they take longer to cook than the delicate tips.

Sprouts brand artichokes When you have a tin of artichokes, it’s best to carefully (but thoroughly) drain them before slicing. I generally like to cut mine into quarters afterward.

Then I got out a few more ingredients. This picture shows¬†some basic ratios I used. PS:¬†You’ll notice I’ve also got¬†two other favorite ingredients: Lucero¬†Lemon Infused Certified¬†extra virgin olive oil, and Jeff’s Naturals Capers.

I like to do the whole

I like to do the whole “mise en place” thing with my ingredients when I’m cooking. What’s “mise en place”? Translated from French, it means “putting in place”, or basically¬†prepping your¬†equipment¬†and/or food before you begin to actually cook. It not only makes it easier to cook, but it’s great for people like me that may forget an item in a recipe! ūüėČ

Okay, back to the recipe… After I got everything ready, it was a snap to create it. I cooked up some gluten free pasta, and while it was boiling, I saut√©ed the veggies¬†, Kenny¬†grilled the chicken, and then I¬†assembled it all together.

Anyway,¬†I think you’ll love it. The chicken will be incredibly moist if you follow my simple grilling method, and the veggies will have a¬†nice tangy, sweetness to it, thanks to the capers and tomatoes. Buon Appetito!

T U S C A N Y   C H I C K E N

3 heads of garlic (you can make this step ahead)
30 grape tomatoes
2 lemons
1 bunch green onions
25 super skinny asparagus spears
1 (14.1oz.) can whole artichokes
4 oz. capers, drained (I use Jeff’s Naturals)
4 Tablespoons lemon olive oil, divided
2 chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon Herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons oregano
salt & pepper to taste
2/3 package Barilla gluten-free spaghetti

Prep the Meal:
Preheat oven to 450¬į.
Roast garlic heads according to directions here.

Fill a large kettle about 2/3 full with water and cover. Heat on high. (this is for your pasta)

Halve tomatoes & place cut side up on a foil lined cookie sheet. Roast tomatoes in oven until cut edges barely begin to blacken, approximately 10-20 minutes (depending on size of tomatoes).
Meanwhile, grate skins from both lemons; set whole peeled lemons aside.
Slice green onions; set aside.
Cut ¬Ĺ” off of asparagus ends & discard. Cut each spear in half, to separate the tender ends from the stalks. Cut the stalks in short pieces; set aside. Cut the tender tops into larger pieces; set aside (see photo).
Drain artichokes from can. There should be about 5 or 6 total. Cut each into quarters, top to bottom; set aside.
Preheat gas grill to high, and close lid. (Preheating should take no more than 5 minutes.)
Place chicken breasts into a gallon-sized zipper bag. Add 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Olive Oil,¬†Herbes de Provence,¬†and ¬Ĺ teaspoon pepper. Seal bag and work bag in hands until chicken is fully coated. (I suggest you have someone manning the grilling of the chicken while you cook, to make sure you are running right on schedule.)

Grill the Chicken:
Take each chicken breast out of the bag and lay it on the grill. Close the lid and let it cook for 6 minutes. Flip them over using tongs, and cook an additional 6 minutes only. Move chicken to a plate and cover with foil to seal juices in. Set aside.

Cook the Meal:
Heat a very wide sauté pan on low-med heat. Add remaining olive oil. Add green onions and asparagus ends. Sauté until onions are beginning to get softened. Increase heat to medium.

The water should be boiling, so put the pasta in to cook for about 11 minutes, till tender. Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, add asparagus tips, artichokes, and oregano to the sauté pan.  Gently work veggies around, so as not to break delicate pieces apart. Add tomatoes, lemon peel, and capers. Once all is heated through, turn off the heat.
Lastly, slice the chicken breasts.

Put it on the Plates:
Put a swirl of spaghetti on each plate. Top with veggies. Fan out slices of chicken and top with garlic cloves.

Tuscany Chicken: Grilled Chicken with Asparagus, Artichoke, Roasted Tomato & Garlic, over gluten free pasta. Enjoy!
Tuscany Chicken: Grilled Chicken with Asparagus, Artichoke, Roasted Tomato & Garlic, over gluten free pasta. Enjoy!

Now all you need is a pretty place to eat your¬†meal. I’m thinking this would be a perfect spot!

photo courtesy of: mynotredame.nd.edu
photo courtesy of: mynotredame.nd.edu

As always, I welcome your comments – please take a moment to let me know what you think of this recipe – thanks! ‚̧


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