Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Fava Beans

I’m convinced that when you cook with homemade and homegrown ingredients, your meals turn out even more satisfying and unique! Case in point: making this braised chicken dish with garden-grown fava beans! 

This last December, Adrian and I reserved a huge patch of our garden for favas, also referred to as a “broad bean.” We usually like to mix up the areas we plant in order to diversity our garden, but this year we decided to see what would happen if our favas had their own designated area. 

Let me tell you, our fava field did not disappoint when it matured in April! We harvested at least a few pounds, which we definitely couldn’t eat all in one sitting. So we preserved them instead.

How did we preserve our fava beans? The first thing we did was blanch them. Blanching beans preserves their vivacious color and smooth texture and allows them to retain up to 1300% more vitamin C than they would unblanched. After letting the favas cool, we vacuum sealed them and put them in the freezer. 

When I need them for recipes like this, all I have to do is take out my desired quantity of beans, thaw, peel, and throw them into whatever I’m cooking! Easy peasy.

Fava beans have the power to add a fun texture to any dish, especially when paired with chicken and artichokes. Fava beans also contain a high concentration of potassium, magnesium and zinc. 

In this dish, paring favas with artichokes is neat because they are said to help detoxify the body and aid with digestion discomfort. When put together, artichokes and chicken are a match made in heaven. Combining all of these ingredients and adding wine really allows for the flavors to be fused together and lends a very Mediterranean flavor to the dish!

This meal is perfect for a warm summer night. With it’s Italian influence, it’ll send you to sunset in Tuscany. Pair with a dry Sauvignon Blanc and voila, dinner is served. It’s even great as leftovers the next day!   

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Fava Beans

Adapted from Bon Appétit Test Kitchen 

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

1 cup fresh fava beans (from about 1 pound pods)
Kosher salt
2 lemons, halved
3 pounds baby artichokes (about 16)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
8 shallots, peeled, halved
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Cook fava beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain, remove skins, and place beans in a small bowl. 

Squeeze lemons into a large bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove tough dark outer leaves. Using a serrated knife, cut off 1" from top, then trim stem, leaving at least 1/2" intact. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove dark outer layer from stem. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise, scoop out choke with a spoon, and discard. Transfer artichoke to lemon water to prevent it from turning brown.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Drain artichokes and pat dry. Add to pan; season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until brown and crisp in places, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Wipe out pot.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with kosher salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes (do not turn). Transfer to baking sheet with artichokes.

Reduce heat to medium, add shallots to pot and more oil if needed, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and beginning to soften, 8–10 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, and broth, and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add artichokes and chicken, skin side up. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Mix in fava beans.

Serve chicken and vegetables topped with chives and parsley and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.



Greek Salad with Seared Salmon

Greek salad is one of my all-time favorite main courses. Eaten vegetarian, it's inherently healthy between the diverse array of vegetables and extra-virgin olive oil. I also love adding a hefty block of feta cheese on top! 

When I know I need a few extra omega-3s in my diet, however, there's no better choice than a Greek salad with seared salmon.

For the pescatarian version, I typically use a little less feta and dressing than usual to keep the overall calorie count down - just because it's salad doesn't mean it's low calorie! The salmon adds an extra dimension of flavor that marries well with the salad greens and makes for quite the balanced meal.

Every time I eat Greek salad, I feel slightly euphoric, similar to the "runners high" after a challenging workout. I can almost feel the nutrients running through my veins. I guarantee you will feel healthier after making this recipe and hope that this one will become a staple in your kitchen!

Greek Salad with Seared Salmon

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4 

½ cup extra virgin olive, oil divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
2 heads butter lettuce leaves
½ English (seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
12 Kalamata olives
3 medium vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and oregano. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Coat the salmon fillets with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season evenly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and add salmon in two batches, skin-side up. Sear salmon until the fillets are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then turn over and cook on the opposite side until browned and the internal temperature reaches 140F. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Plate lettuce leaves and top with cucumbers, red onions, olives, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Top salad with warm salmon fillets. Sprinkle with feta on top and drizzle reserved dressing. Enjoy!