For this love-filled month, the Vitoli team and myself, chef Jean-François, had the idea of using a recipe for this occasion. That of the “Marry me” chicken. Ah yes! You heard perfectly well. Marrryyy meee!!! In addition, we think that this recipe could perhaps rekindle the flame with your valentine and who knows, introduce you to an unexpected marriage proposal?
True to our goal of promoting healthy longevity, we highlight here the importance of having fun; treat yourself to taste, which is the objective of a chef, but also treat yourself by offering a particular dish to the person you love in order to underline their importance. You should know that a recent study reported that couples who were satisfied with their relationship were more engaged in joint health behaviors (Wilson and Novak, 2021). In addition, the level of satisfaction with their life as a couple and their healthier lifestyle habits were two elements that each had a positive impact on their perception of their state of health and the reduction of depressive feelings. People who were satisfied with their relationship also took less medication. Therefore, being concerned about our health is good, but together, it’s even better.
According to the beliefs attributed to this event, there could necessarily be a kernel of truth behind the chocolate or candied hearts. By leafing through the archives of our chef, we unearthed this poultry recipe, which caught our attention through its name. This allows us to mark the month of love, without encouraging you to increase your consumption of refined carbohydrates.
We thought the original recipe was a bit simplistic, but because of the vibrant colors of the dish, we thought it best to use it as a Valentine’s Day theme. We decided to make some modifications to the recipe, so as to give it a more complete and healthier Mediterranean touch. That is to say, this recipe needed a supplement of black olives and artichokes. We will offer you choices of side dishes, high in flavor and color, so as to perfectly complement this dish. Let’s go for a marriage of flavors sailing between Spain and Greece!
– 2 pounds of chicken thighs with skin on the bone (about 6 pieces) OR 4 chicken breasts with bone and skin
– Olive oil
– 1 bag of cooked, peeled and thawed medium shrimp
– Salt and pepper to taste (if using white pepper add ¼ teaspoon)
– A sprig of thyme and/or rosemary
– 4 to 6 cloves of garlic cut into thin slices
– 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
– 1/2 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
– 3/4 to 1 cup of unsalted or very little chicken broth
– 1/2 cup of 15% or 35% cooking cream
– 1 can of artichoke hearts, well rinsed
– 2/3 cup of sliced black olives
– 1/4 cup of cooked or canned chickpeas, well drained and rinsed (optional, but recommended)
– 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes
– 1/4 cup of parmesan, pecorino, kefalotyri or feta cheese
– Fresh parsley and/or basil to taste
Suggested sides :
– Mixed Californian vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot) steamed
– Cooked whole grain brown rice
– Whole Wheat Fettuccine
– Crusty bread of your choice (preferably a healthy multigrain)
- First, take your chicken pieces out of the fridge for a few minutes. Get yourself a large (about 12 inches in diameter) ovenproof skillet; enameled cast iron is a good choice, otherwise any other heavy-bottomed, oven-safe skillet will work too. Arrange the chicken pieces on a plate, then add salt and pepper on each side. Sear the pieces on each side for five to six minutes, in sizzling oil, then set aside for later.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and wait for your oven to reach the desired degree. Over medium heat, add a little oil to the same skillet you used to brown the chicken. Then, lightly sweat the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes; you will be able to see a small orange tint to the oil; this is a sign that it is well flavored. This operation should only take you a minute or two, because you don’t want to burn the aromatics. After that, over medium heat, pour in the cream and broth, letting it simmer for two to three minutes, until the mixture seems homogeneous.
- Now your oven is ready for cooking. You can now bake your romantic treat. But first, you still have to add some ingredients such as artichoke hearts, black olives, chickpeas, dried or fresh tomatoes and your beautiful pink shrimp. Place your skillet in the oven for about twenty minutes, at most.
- This is the long-awaited moment; remove your skillet from the oven, then put it on a thick wooden board, as a trivet, because the cast iron can sometimes be very hot and therefore burn your pretty wicker trivets. Pour yourself a good glass of white wine to which you will add a few slices of strawberries. Also bring your desired accompaniment(s) to the table to add to the feast. When you are ready to eat with your loved one, sprinkle your dish with parmesan cheese or another type mentioned as well as fresh parsley and/or basil if desired.
- Wilson et Novak, 2021. The Implications of Being “In it Together”: Relationship Satisfaction and Joint Health Behaviors Predict Better Health and Stronger Concordance Between Partners. Ann Behav Med. 2021 Nov 27:kaab099.