Chicken in a Hurry (Oregon, 1974, adapted)


Chicken in a Hurry is a weeknight chicken dish adapted from No Regrets (1974), a compilation of recipes from the Portland (Oregon) Junior League.  The name of the recipe is somewhat misleading – this recipe still takes around an hour start to finish – but it requires very little active time and no chopping.   In contrast to the casserole-heavy cuisine of the time this is a more elegant alternative that requires about the same amount of work.  The dish itself is reasonably straightforward.  Bone-in chicken pieces are dredged in seasoned flour and browned in the artichoke marinade with a little bit of butter.  The chicken is then simmered in wine until cooked through and then mixed with artichoke hearts and a can of condensed cream soup.  The liquid-to-condensed soup ratio is quite favorable, such that Chicken in a Hurry doesn’t end up tasting like just-another-chicken-drenched-in-soup dish.  The soup is more of a thickener, lending some body and opacity to the sauce, while the wine and vinegary marinade dominate the flavor profile.

Browning the chicken in the artichoke marinade is probably the trickiest part. Most artichoke hearts are marinated in a vinegar-and-oil mixture and the oil-to-water ratio will vary brand to brand.  You’ll need to cook off the liquid and add oil/butter accordingly to make sure you have enough oil for browning.  Otherwise you’ll end up with yellowish rubbery chicken skin, which tastes as weird as it looks.   The rest of the recipe is pretty much dummyproof – dump and stir.  If you’re willing to do a little bit of chopping a tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon makes a world of difference, elevating a pretty good casserole alternative to something that feels truly fancy.

This dish makes a lot of sauce and demands an unadulterated grain to sop it all up.  I served this to my family with jasmine rice – any long grain rice, couscous, or wide noodles will work just fine.   Pair with a green salad or simply steamed vegetable.  Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken in a Hurry (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 40 min
  • Ready in: 55 min
  • For: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a large plastic bag. Trim excess skin and fat from chicken pieces and add to the bag. Shake to coat.
  2. Drain the marinade from the artichoke hearts into a large dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until liquid boils off and you're just left with seasoned oil, then add the butter.
  3. When the butter is melted and bubbly add chicken pieces, working in batches if needed, and brown on all sides (about three minutes per side). Add more oil or butter as needed.
  4. When all the chicken is cooked, gently add back the chicken pieces in layers and pour the wine over top. When wine begins to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer. Rotate chicken periodically to prevent scorching on the bottom.
  5. When chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature of 165º F, about 25 minutes) add reserved artichokes and condensed soup. Stir to combine and continue cooking until heated through.
  6. Spoon over rice. Top with paprika and serve immediately.

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