I remember my mom and sister sitting around when I was a teenager snacking on marinated artichokes. At the time, everything about them made me want to scream and run the other way. The smell, the texture, the flavor - they icked me out. Then came college and one of my main food groups was spinach artichoke dip. Bless you, bar food, for changing my mind. Slowly but surely, artichokes became not only a frequent visitor in my pantry but a go-to ingredient.
In a sea of taco chicken slow cooker recipes out there, I was on the hunt for something different. Tracie at Cleverly Inspired put together a delicious blend of Italian dressing, artichoke hearts, onions, and mushrooms. All of these things are delicious to me and I went for it.
I sliced one onion into half moons, roughly quartered an 8 oz olive bar container of artichoke hearts, and added them to the bottom of the slow cooker with a box of sliced baby bellas. Next, I kept to her suggestion of boneless chicken thighs which I generally prefer flavor-wise and added those in on top of the vegetables.
Finally, you add a tablespoon of Italian seasoning and a 1/2 c of Italian dressing. I upped the ante a bit by making m own Italian dressing and dry Italian seasoning. For my seasoning, I used 1 - 2 teaspoons each dried thyme and oregano, 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence. My dressing is 1/4 c red wine vinegar, 1/4 c canola oil, four garlic cloves, juice of one lemon, a few shakes of paprika. I poured all of this into the artichoke hearts container so there was a bit more of the marinade that made its way into the mix.
Cook on low for 6 – 7 hours and you’ve got dinner waiting for you when you walk back in the door! I whipped up some farroto - farro risotto - and it was the perfect accompaniment to the zesty chicken and brought a nice chewy bite to the dish.
Pure honesty? I give this meal a B. I have notes. I have edits. Namely, this was VERY acidic. It was refreshing and tasted great, but it veered on the too zingy side after while and left me with that post-Sour Patch Kid puckery feeling in my mouth. Going forward, I’d cut out the lemon juice or cut down on the vinegar. Or, I could throw in ¼ or 1/3 c chicken stock to dilute the zing and give a more earthy note to the dish. All in all, a solid first try and I will definitely make it again with edits!