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Chicken with Roasted Lemons, Spinach and Artichokes

Courtesy of Chef Dana Calicchio
This is a meal that you need to give yourself at least 2 hours to prepare. It is worth the wait!
I have used 3 jars of marinated artichokes, but it is not the same as you preparing fresh ones.
If you have the time, try this old Italian dish. Italian Comfort food at it’s best!


Roasted Lemons

  • 8 large lemons zested and cut in half
  • Kosher salt


  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • teaspoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Small pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium to large artichokes
  • 1/2 lemon

Sauce for Chicken

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh
  • rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of Thyme
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
  • 2 cups double-strength chicken stock,
  • or broth boiled until reduced by half
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves, skin on
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 /4 teaspoon cayenne 


  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 4 cups spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 1/4 cup chopped  parsley leaves 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Romano, for serving

Preheat the broiler ( if you have a larger toaster oven, this works well especially in the summer)

Zest 1 of the lemons and set zest aside for chicken and zest remaining for artichokes and set aside. Cut a small slice off both ends of each lemon, and then cut in half crosswise. Arrange the lemons, pulp side up, on a flameproof non-reactive baking dish, and season with salt. Broil 6 inches or more from the heat until browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Squeeze 5 of the lemon halves over a sieve suspended over a bowl. Push and stir the pulp through the sieve with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get as much juice out as possible. Discard the lemons. Repeat the same thing for the other 3 lemons and add juice to bowls with zest.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.. Mix well and set aside while preparing the artichokes. Your artichokes should be peeled back and cleaned to the hearts and quartered with the chokes out and soaking in a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep from turning brown. To do this,  snap off 3/4  of each of the outer leaves from an artichoke. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut off the top half, and then cut the artichoke in half lengthwise, and again until quartered and you have 8 pieces.  Remove the purple feathery choke part. In a large bowl filled with water, squeeze the juice of the lemon half into the water, putting in each artichoke quarter in water as you work to avoid discoloration. When hearts are quartered and cleaned, drain them and pat dry and put them in the marinade to coat completely. Pour the artichokes and marinade into a baking dish, cover with foil, and cook until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove when done and set aside.

While artichokes are baking,

Season chicken with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and cayenne. Place in a baking dish and Drizzle with olive oil. Place in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

In a large skillet, add  ¼ cup olive oil, the garlic and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and reserved roasted lemon juice. Stir and scrape up all the browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, and then add the remaining 1 cup broth. Bring to a simmer and stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk in the butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until juices in chicken run clear.

While Chicken is cooking, heat olive oil in the  large skillet you used for the  sauce over medium heat.  This will add flavor. Add garlic. When garlic is light  golden brown, add the thyme and broth. Bring to a simmer, stir in the spinach to wilt. Add the artichokes, and turn off heat.  Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Pour  the spinach artichoke mixture and toss with the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with lots of  Romano and serve with chicken on top or chicken in middle of large platter and Pasta around chicken.

Yield: Serves 6