Italian Artichoke Chicken with Asparagus

Need an easy, one-dish meal chock full of Italian flavor, lean protein, and seasonal spring vegetables? Put down the microwave dinners and give this recipe a try. If you are really pressed for time, you can easily put this together in advance, keep it in the fridge, and pop it in the oven when you get home from work (you may have to add a few minutes cooking time). This dish not only works well with chicken, but it is also delicious prepared with fish. Enjoy!

Artichoke Chicken with Asparagus
Makes 4-6 Servings
Paleo; Free of: gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, yeast, grain, sugar

1 bunch asparagus

2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

14 ounces artichoke hearts, (either canned or frozen) drained and chopped

1 leek, white and green part only, sliced

3 pieces center-cut bacon (or pancetta or prosciutto), uncooked & chopped

1/4 cup chicken stock

Oregano, thyme, basil, salt & pepper, garlic powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking dish by spraying oil on the bottom and sides.
  2. Wash 1 bunch of asparagus and trim the bottom 1/4 – 1/3 of the stalks to remove the woody parts. Arrange in the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Take the chicken breasts and cut the breasts in half horizontally to make the chicken breasts smaller and to help them cook evenly (you can skip this if the chicken breasts are already small and evenly sized). Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Arrange over the asparagus in the dish.
  4.  Place the chopped artichokes and sliced leeks over the chicken. Sprinkle with chopped bacon or prosciutto.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup chicken stock into the bottom of the pan to add moisture while cooking. Sprinkle the entire dish generously with oregano, thyme, basil, and garlic powder.
  6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for @ 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the foil and bake 5 more minutes to crisp the bacon and brown the leeks a bit. Alternatively, you can place the dish in the broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown the top of the dish. Enjoy!

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