Insalata di Pollo con Carciofi - Chicken Salad with Artichokes (gluten free, ACD)

Artichokes are this week's Blogger Secret Ingredient! Since I'm hosting this week's event, I need to post something artichoke-alicious, right?  I have had this post waiting in my drafts section, and since I have been crazy busy this week, and needed an artichoke recipe, it was perfect timing to use it!  Before the BSI deadline on Sunday night, I plan to whip out the fresh artichokes and try something, but this will do for now.

So, here's another vacation meal, like my Fave Fresche, Finocchi, and Piselli Brasate al "Latte" (Fresh Favas, Fennel, and Peas Braised in "Milk").   I was inspired by the River Café cookbooks once again, and decided to transport myself to Italy through my kitchen.  I just can't help it. Italy has invaded my brain!  

While this recipe isn't adapted from any in The River Café cookbooks, it is certainly inspired by all the fresh flavors of rustic Italian cooking.  I've made it over and over again since I first threw it together, and I like it more each time. This salad is extraordinarily simple, and beautiful in that simplicity.  It will transport you to the Italian countryside. Eat it alone, like I did for dinner, or throw it over spinach or young salad greens, like I did the next day for lunch.  It would also be very good used in wraps - I would love to try wrapping some up in a big collard leaf!  The salad is equally good served warm as it is served cold.  Really, eat it however you want. Just eat it. And dream of Italy.

Submit your artichoke recipe for the Blogger Secret Ingredient contest by midnight CST on Sunday May 2 to eatingfreely@gmail.com  Then I'll pick a winner and announce it on Monday May 3, along with next week's host!  The winner will receive a 4 oz bottle of Dad's Seasoning Original Blend, my dad's homemade spice blend! Check out this post for all the rules and details.


Insalata di Pollo con Carciofi - Chicken Salad with Artichokes

YIELD: 2-4 SERVINGS | ACTIVE TIME: 15 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 15 MINUTES

I used canned artichokes for this recipe, but you could use thawed frozen ones, or freshly cooked artichoke hearts as well.  Delicious warm or cold. Eat on its own, over greens, pasta or grains, or in sandwiches or wraps. 

1 1/2-2 cups cooked free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free chicken (about two large chicken breasts), diced or shredded
1 1/2 cup quartered artichoke hearts (canned and drained, frozen and thawed, or freshly cooked)
1/3 cup packed parsley, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed (or vinegar packed, if you tolerate vinegar)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dry marjoram or oregano
1/2 tsp vitamin C crystals + 1 Tbsp water (or a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice)
freshly cracked pepper & sea salt, to taste
optional: toasted pine nuts for garnish 

Chop or shred chicken.  Mix in a large bowl with artichokes.  Heat olive oil over medium low heat until hot, then add garlic and saute until softened and golden, but not burnt, about 2 minutes.  Pour oil and garlic over chicken and artichokes, and stir to mix.  Add capers, parsley, marjoram, and vitamin C crystals, and stir to mix. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, and if desired, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

If you want a warm salad, add chicken and artichokes to saute pan with garlic and oil, then add remaining ingredients and heat until warmed through.