Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Artichokes and Leeks in a light Tarragon cream sauce with baby potatoes. A simple spring dinner to highlight the season’s bounty. 
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring! 
This braised chicken recipe sings of Spring with fresh artichoke hearts, tarragon and leeks.  If you don’t have access to fresh artichokes, try subbing frozen artichoke hearts! The star of this dish is easily fresh artichokes- and it’s best to save this recipe until they are in season and in abundance, but frozen artichokes will also work in a pinch.
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring! 

Pieces of chicken thighs are simply seasoned with kosher salt and pepper and seared in a skillet. In the same pan,  artichoke hearts are sauteed with leeks and baby potatoes, then de-glazed with vermouth (or white wine) and chicken stock.

Fresh tarragon leaves and lemon zest are added along with a tiny little bit of cream. The chicken thighs are nestled down in this lovely spring goodness, and it all goes in the oven for a bit. When it comes out, the chicken is juicy and crispy, and the artichokes are flavorful and tender.  A delicious one-pot meal.

We’ve had an unusually warm Spring here and our city is exploding with blossoms.
Mother’s day came and went, and the dogwood we planted (for my mother) burst out in white, shouting, I’m still here. The Lilies of the Valley returned quietly, laden with tiny white bells, unbelievably fragrant. 

I’ve been thinking about flowers lately.  How quickly they bloom… and then go – their sole purpose being opening, 
becoming fully what they are, no matter how temporary.

Last evening, while walking through the lilac grove, smelling each one, I thought to myself (a little morbidly) that I probably only have forty more springs to experience all this loveliness- if I’m lucky. And suddenly, all the blossoms and all the flower smells in the night air…seemed so much more important.

As I study the sleepy blossoms outside my window this morning, I wonder, will I ever fully open? Some things just can’t be forced. We are, what we are when we are. But today at least, I feel somewhat willing.

Through the years, I’ve been a witness to this in others- the gradual opening of those close to me. Watching them become more and more of who they are. It is a beautiful thing to behold. It moves me.

How to make Artichoke Chicken

Prepare a bowl of cold water with lemon juice. This will keep the artichoke hearts from browning. Working quickly, one artichoke at a time, snap off the tough outer petals.  I like to save mine for the next day, in a zip lock bag. These can be blanched, marinated and then grilled for a tasty side or appetizer. Here is a marinade for grilled artichokes that I use repeatedly with good success.
*See the recipe notes for using frozen artichokes.
Once the tough green petals are snapped off, you will see silky yellow petals which must come off too. Just pull them off with your fingers. Remember to work quickly to prevent browning.

Finally,  you will get to the fine thread-like filaments. These are inedible, even when cooked, so using a spoon, firmly and gently pry them off.

If you get the edge of your spoon, in just the right spot, they will come off easily.

Once these are off, using a sharp paring knife, quickly trim the artichoke edges and stem- removing the tough skin of the stem and the bottom 1/2 inch or so. Immediately immerse in a bowl of cold lemon water, to help prevent browning. You’ll want 2-3 cups.

You can cut a whole chicken into pieces or use chicken thighs. Pat dry, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and sear in a hot skillet. I usually cook the bottom side longer than the tops, because the tops will brown in the oven, and you don’t want them overly brown. Once seared, set them aside.

After draining off some of the chicken fat, in the same pan, you will saute the leeks, artichokes and potatoes with a little butter.

For this dish, I use tiny baby potatoes, just cut in half.  Whatever potatoes you use, make sure they are cut to about a 1/2 inch thick,  so they cook to the proper done-ness.

When ready to saute the artichokes, pull them out of the lemon water and slice them to 1/4 inch thick.
Sometimes I’ll throw in some pearl onions. Mushrooms would taste good too. Or fresh English peas. Or caramelized fennel bulb. Make it your own.

This recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of fresh tarragon, which to me, pairs really well with artichoke hearts. But,  if you are not a fan of tarragon, fresh sage is a really good alternative.

Once the artichokes, leeks and potatoes are just tender, after about 10 minutes, de-glaze with Vermouth (or white wine). Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.

Add stock, lemon zest and fresh tarragon and a little half and half.

Once simmering, give a quick stir and taste for salt. You may need to add a pinch of salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into it so the undersides are immersed in the liquid and skin sides are up. Place in a hot  425F oven for 20-30 minutes or until thighs register 180F or breasts reach 160F.  If not crisp enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes.

When it comes out, it will be fragrant and delicious. Serve with crusty bread, a salad and white wine.
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring! 
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring!
Braised Crispy Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious one-pan recipe perfect for spring! 

Hope you enjoy this recipe and leave your notes in the comments below!

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Artichoke Chicken

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Artichokes

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: braised
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Artichoke hearts, leeks, potatoes and tarragon- a delicious, French-inspired one-pan recipe perfect for spring!


Ingredients

Scale

 

  • 4 large artichokes, trimmed and sliced (or sub frozen artichoke hearts, see notes)
  • one lemon, zest and juice.
  •  6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter, divided.
  • 1 large leek, sliced and rinsed, drained.
  • 2 cups tiny potatoes sliced ( 1/4 thick in pieces)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vermouth or white wine.
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1/2 cup half and half, heavy cream or dairy-free cream alternative
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, divided
  • Optional Additions: Mushrooms, ramps, pearl onions, fresh English peas, fennel bulb

Instructions

  1. Zest the lemon, set zest aside.
  2. Prep the artichokes. Fill a med bowl with 4 cups cold water and squeeze with the juice from the lemon. Because artichokes will easily brown, work on one at a time as quickly as possible. Snap off all the hard out leaves using your fingers ( Save for later) With a sharp paring knife, trim off all the outer green skin around the base and stem, keeping the stem in tact. Remove the yellowish soft leaves and using a spoon, gently scrape away the white or purple silk like threads. Immediately place in the lemon water, to prevent browning. Slice just before placing in the skillet. (see notes for frozen artichokes)
  3. Preheat oven to 425F.  Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a heavy bottom oven-proof skillet over med-high heat. Place chicken skin side down and sear for until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown undersides until golden, about 7-8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain some of the chicken fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add 1 tablespoon more butter. Add leeks, sliced artichokes, sliced potatoes and fennel seeds. Saute on med heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they just begin to soften. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper. 
  4. Deglaze the pan with vermouth (or white wine). Reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Add stock, mustard and fennel seeds, half and half, half of the fresh tarragon and 1/2 of the zest. Give a stir, bring to a simmer, and taste broth adjusting salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken pieces into the stew with skin sides up, and roast in a hot 425 F oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden, and thigh internal temp is 170F, or breast internal temp is 160F.  If needed, broil for a couple of minutes to get skin extra crispy.
  5. Garnish with remaining lemon zest and fresh tarragon before serving. 

Notes

Save the leaves and blanch for another meal!

If using frozen artichoke hearts- nestle in the broth at the same time as the chicken- use 2-3 cups or however many will comfortably fit in the pan.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 450
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 728.5 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.6 g
  • Fiber: 7.5 g
  • Protein: 51.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 237.7 mg

Keywords: artichoke chicken, braised chicken thighs, tarragon chicken, french chicken recipes, spring chicken

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia, I was thinking about making this recipe, but I am dairy-free. Is is ok to leave out the half and half or substitute with something else?

    1. Hi Sharon, I would substitute with your favorite nondairy or vegan creamer.

  2. Everything but the recipe is at the link. I really would love to try making this so please fix the link asap. Thanks!

    1. Oh dear- sorry about that! It is there now and thank you SO MUCH for letting me know Jackie! 🙂

  3. Fresh artichokes are expensive here in Michigan. I can get artichoke hearts with stem, marinated, in the olive section of the market. They are slightly marinated, mostly in olive oil. Do you think these will work, and what might I do differently, given the slight acidity in the marinate, and the fact that they are not raw? Thanks .

    1. Hi Joseph! Have you ever looked in your freezer section of the grocery store? We often have frozen artichoke hearts, these would work best here! If you must use marinated artichoke hearts, drain, rinse, pat dry. 🙂

  4. Fabulous & beautiful recipe! My husband and I loved it, made it exactly as written and it turned out perfect. Really appreciate the step-by-step photos on how to prepare an artichoke. I was intimated at first and thought about using frozen but moved forward and am now a fan and a pro with artichokes. This this meal is something that you would get at a restaurant! Couldn’t stop saying it’s “very good!” So much so, that we made this recipe again, this past weekend. This time we used a pork tenderloin, no artichokes, instead carrots, potatoes, leeks, mushrooms with sautéed kale on the side. It was excellent. In general, my husband I absolutely love your recipes. They are reliably excellent and easy to follow. I feel confident experimenting with new flavors and dishes. Thanks so much for sharing them. P.S. For dessert, my husband made your Strawberry turnovers. He made the homemade pie dough. Gees, they too, were so good.

  5. Extraordinary recipe!! I was actually overwhelmed with gratitude and tears to be blessed with such a beautiful dinner in such hellish times. Thank you Sylvia, for the reminder that the world is not yet flat…blessings to you for sharing

  6. We used drum sticks, replaced potatoes with baby bella mushrooms, skipped the 1/2 and 1/2 and didn’t have fennel seeds. IT WAS AMAZING. Thank you for this versatile and impossible to mess up recipe!

  7. Just adapted this for my diet-restricted 90 y.o. mother but it rocked; she’s French and hard to please.!
    Had to omit potatoes; chk breasts, fresh garden sage, pinch thyme, frzn. artichoke and leeks (TJ’s), plus onion & garlic, vermouth + rich home-made chk broth, lemon juice & zest, dijon mustard. She can’t have straight dairy, but I pulled most of the liquid after baking (350º) and stirred in plain ‘Fage’ greek yogurt to thicken. (It doesn’t curdle at high temps). Tasted like cream. Happy finicky camper! Thanks for this

  8. This looks so fresh, healthful and delicious! I have a few whole-body chickens in my freezer, so I’ll be trying out your recipe soon!!

  9. Would chicken breasts work well in this recipe? My husband has an aversion to chicken thighs for some reason… and this dish looks too good to pass up!

    1. Yes…chicken breasts would work great too- just be sure to not overcook (internal temp 160F). Often I just cut up a whole organic chicken into pieces. Fish like halibut would be good too.

  10. Sounds delicious! Any suggestions for a substitute for the half-and-half to keep this dairy-free?