Yum Peaceful Cooking: Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

Have you ever thought..."I wanna cook something with "such and such" ingredients...but what?" Then you spend the day wracking your brain (in the secret backgrounds of your mind while you're at work) trying to figure out what you're going to possibly come up with?

Well that was me....I knew I was making something "chicken" (that's a no brainer)....but I wanted to use artichoke hearts as well.

Sure, I could've made a nice creamy sauce with artichokes and mushroom poured over chicken. But that seemed too typical. And that's where my brain got stuck.

When I got home that night, my first issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine had arrived, with my "free" Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorites 2010 Cookbook. I got coerced into this subscription because of the free cookbook with a $5.00 1 year commitment. How could I not? right? So I pulled out my "cookbook" (and I use that term loosely) which contained a whole 32 pages (index included) of recipes....2 per page.

But hey...it was FREE!!! I'm not complainin', I'm just sayin'

As I thumbed through my new freebee, I discovered this recipe, which happened to include my 2 main ingredients....

Chicken and Artichoke Hearts! WOW!!

I have to warn you...there are a ton of ingredients....19!

Better Homes and Gardens Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake
Printable Version

8 oz bow tie pasta, cooked
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 - 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (I used frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and quartered)
1 - 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
2 cups shredded jack cheese (I used mozzarella cheese)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (divided)
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (my addition)

Preheat your oven to 350'F

In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and cook the onions until tender, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, italian seasoning, red pepper, salt and pepper.

(I look at this and I'm not sure if I see a flooded swamp, or if I wanna look for caricatures in the spices)

Stir in the chicken, artichokes and spinach

Lovin that color!!

Then stir in the cooked pasta, onion, jack (mozzarella) cheese, dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese

Bake covered for 20 minutes

Meanwhile...in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika.

Now this is when I decided (and not soon enough) that this dish needed more.

I know, right? Seriously? with that long-ass list of ingredients?

When I removed the pan from the oven and saw it was on the dry side....and the flavors smelled bland....oooh. crud. Ok, so lets add garlic. Quick! Oh ya, maybe it was dry cuz I forgot to cover mine when I baked it? Damn! I hate when I miss a "minor" detail like that.

So...sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the casserole and then sprinkle the garlic slivers over the crumbs. Continue to bake, uncovered this time, for 10 minutes or until golden. Let stand an additional 10 minutes before serving.

It's beautiful and has some wonderful ingredients. But it was lacking. I think it would be better with fresh spinach instead of frozen. Maybe marinated artichoke hearts would help as well? And garlic in the sauce for sure!!! More cheese? Always!

I dunno.....what would you do differently?

Oh ya...One more thing...wanna a chance a win Fresh MORELS?! Ya, so do I. If you win, so do I...how cool is that? Just click on the picture below and enter to win your (and my) 2 lbs of Fresh Morels.


  1. My brain get stuck in that same rut all the time....This looks so cheesy and delicious! Maybe I need to subscribe to Better Homes & Gardens.

  2. I made a chicken pasta dish with spinach in it two days ago and had awful results. Sometimes they just don't turn out well. It sucks!!! to quote my kids.

  3. Instead of onion I would use green onion, maybe 6 green onions including the tops. And I would substitute Tarragon, Basil and Garlic for the Italian Seasoning.

    I tried clicking on the Free Morel badge but it's not linked yet.

  4. I just fixed the Free Morel Badge (I was having issues) and I just discovered that the contest ends at midnight, April 28th....not sure which time zone though LOL. Well, they just emailed me about this today.....argh

  5. Try using some fresh herbs instead of the italian seasoning and add some garlic. Maybe that might help you out. oh yes, and add the cheese like you said...yum! The photos make this look delicious but I'm sorry it didn't work that well for you.

  6. Looks yummy to me. It probably just needs some herbs and maybe some wine in that sauce. Your pics are tasty looking.

  7. i love the colors in this, danielle! also, it's about time artichoke hearts were used for more than just spinach dip and greek salad. :)

  8. I second the idea of adding some fresh herbs. They make such a difference.

  9. I think you hit the jackpot with this recipe. If you're looking for a suggestion, maybe I'd add fresh herbs a little heat with some peperoncino.

  10. I think a combo of cheeses like the 3 cheese italian mix would be good, I think it's provolone, mozzarella and something else. I would definitely use romano over parm. I think maybe a quick saute of the spinach with some garlic and oil would give it a lot of flavor. A sprinkle of nutmeg too (tip from RR and Giada - white sauces and dark greens benefit from some nutmeg) and that would def help. Hmm....not sure what kind of chicken you used but roasted breasts over poached will give it lots of flavor.

    It certainly looks delicious and has some of my favorite ingredients!

  11. I saw sun dried tomatoes in the list of ingredients. Count me in.

  12. This same thing happens to me sometimes. My recipe looks amazing but it needs...zing. Maybe a more flavorful cheese?

  13. I love it when that happens! When you're looking to use an ingredient and a recipe just appears, destined to be served at the table. This looks like a fab pasta.

  14. I have been having this strange craving for artichokes lately and this would definitely fit the bill! I love it:D

  15. Bo - whew...so nice to know I'm not the only one LOL. I'd buy a BH&G Cookbook before I'd subscribe to the magazine if I were you

    Bonnie - LMAO!! You gotta love (or not) the blunt honesty of a kid

    Michelle - Basil! oh that would've been good. and the green onions...such a nice flavor

    Bridgett - Garlic was a huge missing ingredient (why did they leave that out???) And yes...more cheese.

    Cathy - Wine! I just never think of cooking with wine unless a recipe calls for it....i guess I'm just too stingy...I wanna drink my wine LOL

    Grace - You're right...artichokes hearts really are under rated

    Tango - Thanks girl friend :)

    Pam - with the expense of fresh herbs at the market, I guess it's time I figure out how to pull together an herb garden so I don't have to use the dried stuff

    Linda - more heat...peperncino...hmmm...I'll have to look into that. how hot are those babies?

    Michele - Nutmet? wow...thats an awesome tip! And yes, roasted chicken would've been better but I poached it (it was a week night..poaching is quick). All your suggestions are wonderful! Thank you so much :)

    Sam - I'm really beginning to enjoy sun dried tomatoes. I haven't cooked with them all that much but man...they are packed with flavor!

    Ungourmet - More cheese is always a good thing

    Christine - Thank you! :)

    Kim - I absolutely love artichokes! just plain simple, steamed or boiled with a little melted butter to dip the leaves in...oh man...now you've done it! I'm craving them again!!

  16. That looks like it's just chuck full of cheesy goodness!!! Yum! I need to make something new, I keep running into cookers block and have started repeating things way too much. This could be just the thing!!!

  17. It looks delicious--maybe lots of garlic and because I love them so, maybe some capers would have make it stand out more for you. ;-)

  18. I have to say this is one seriously casserole. That is a lot of ingredients...but well worth it! It looks really good.

    I would totally have gotten the free cookbook, and hey at least you made something from it! So that definitely made it worthwhile.

  19. It looks good, sorry it didn't meet with your expectations, Danielle! Better Homes and Gardens usually have super recipes. Perhaps the additions you mentioned will help?

  20. This does look very appetizing! It reminds me a little of a dish that I order at one of our favorite restaurants in town. The sauce is a red pepper sauce though so has a little spice to it - maybe red pepper flakes? Also, the chicken is grilled which gives it a fuller flavor. Maybe that would help pump up the flavor of this otherwise wonderful-looking dish?

  21. It looks beautiful, but taste is the final test. I'm sorry this didn't work for you. I'd try again using a mixture of Swiss and cheddar cheese as well as fresh herbs. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  22. The concept of this dish is terrific, perhaps more spices or chillies would help enhance the flavor?

  23. This looks like a favorite... I'll be hanging on to this recipe!

  24. This looks like a recipe that couldn't go wrong! It's full of so many delicious flavors. Sorry you weren't happy with it after all that work! {I like frozen spinach over fresh for some strange reason?!}

  25. Now that looks awesome! I love the flavor artichoke brings to any dish but it seems especially suited to chicken.


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