Well, we figured out exactly what to do with those chicken thighs and artichoke hearts!
First we combined them with most of a bottle of Basil and Balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, squished it all together in a gallon-size freezer bag and let it sit in the fridge about 24 hours. Thankfully a dressing-marinade tends not to be overly acidic (or, at the very least, have enough oil to buffer it) so sitting for a long time doesn’t break down the meat so much that it produces a mealy texture. Blech.
Then, since the weather was nice, we fired up the grill of awesome and popped those suckers on the grill for about half an hour. I was a little iffy on what to do with the artichoke hearts at that point, but Todd (brilliant man!) suggested skewering them: tada! They were a little tricky to keep on but when I figured out that piercing them near the top edge of the leaves and angling it out the base of the choke would work fairly well, we were in business.
Meanwhile, to keep the marinade or not? Now, since it’s been hanging out with raw chicken for a while it has to be boiled for AT LEAST 5 minutes before it’s safe to consume. And, well, if I’m going to boil it at all, I might as well reduce it into a sauce for the finished chicken, mightn’t I?
After an incident in which I was reminded just how much a sauce can grow (i.e. exceed the capacity of the small saucepan it was in) when it’s hit the boiling stage and a quick splash into a bigger pot, it actually reduced perfectly! Love when that happens! As it started to thicken I went ahead and strained out the stray artichoke leaves and garlic and such and it make a beautiful sauce for the grilled items. I’ll probably remember to strain the marinade first next time. Maybe.
To go with it all we whipped up a simple white sauce to cover some steamed cauliflower and topped it off with smoked provolone and just enough time in the oven to get the cheese lightly brown and bubbly.
So much for not cooking this week!
But it was good enough that I didn’t mind. Thursday I picked up a bunch of fresh veggies (bean sprouts, eggplant, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash, matchstick carrots and green onions) on the way home and combined them with the shredded cabbage, coconut milk and green Thai curry paste we already had for a very veggie curry that was even better the next day for lunch. Sweet and spicy and delicious!