Heart Healthy (Stress Free!) Artichoke Chicken
Everyone knows by now that stress takes a heavy toll on the heart. Add constant worry, poor diet choices, and lack of sleep and exercise, and you’ve got yourself a serious health concern on the horizon. If this sounds like you (and what mom, really, doesn’t fall into at least one of those categories) then this month, National Stress Awareness Month, is the perfect time to make a change.
Heart disease is definitely a factor and concern in my family. At an early age, my Grandfather had a heart attack and spent his life with a serious condition. As a result, my Nana (as in Nana of the Burt and Nana duo) came up with recipes that were heart healthy and low in cholesterol. Before there was the miracle invention of Olive Oil Spray (my life), she used margarine melted with olive oil. (Oy, how easy we have things now). The recipe has definitely evolved over the years… sometimes my mom adds chopped fresh tomatoes or a can (juice removed) of pitted kalamata olives to the artichokes.
From what I can tell, if cooked as is, it’s approximately 9 points (per serving/ breast) on Weight Watchers’ Point Plus program. Whether you follow it to the tee or “zsuzh” it up and serve it over brown rice or even roasted potatoes, this super easy, stress free, and delicious dinner will be a crowd pleaser. Trust me! It delights both of the boys in my life, young and old! Enjoy!
Heart Healthy Artichoke Chicken
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Cup Seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs
½ Cup Parmesean Cheese
Olive Oil Spray
½ Cup White Wine
Large Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts - Trader Joes has an 8oz Jar that is perfect
Water, Chicken Broth, or Juice from Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Garlic Powder, Kosher Salt, Freshly Ground Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 (but turn down to 350 after you put chicken in).
1. Spray Baking Dish with Olive Oil Spray and set aside.
2. On a large plate mix Parmesean Cheese and Bread Crumbs with Garlic POWDER (not Garlic Salt) a couple pinches of Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper….about 4 – 5 turns with pepper grinder.
3. Spray one side of a chicken breast, dredge in cheese/bread crumb mixture, then spray the other side of the chicken breast and repeat. I pat extra breadcrumbs/cheese mixture onto each breast and lay each one into the baking dish… I don’t lay them flat.. I kind of tuck the top and bottom of the breast under itself….and then I divide up any left over bread crumbs and top each breast patting the crumb mixture down a little….
4. With the breasts all placed in the baking dish give each breast another spray of olive oil spray, DRAIN Artichokes and SAVE THE Marinade…don’t throw away.
5. Place artichoke heart pieces around and in between each breast.
6. Pour the left over marinade around (not over) the chicken breasts… the liquid should come up a little less than ½ way up the side of the breast, if the liquid doesn’t cover the bottom of the baking dish you can add a tiny bit of water or broth…whatever you do you are not covering/drowning the breasts… less is more…You should still see half the sides of the breast… you can add a little water as the chicken cooks.
7. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes.
8. After 40 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 and add the ½ cup of white wine around breasts (don’t get bread crumbs wet if possible) and cover baking dish with foil or lid.
9. Bake covered for another 10 – 15 minutes. Then remove lid and bake another 10 minutes.