This should probably be two posts, Chicken Pesto Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms with Steamed Artichokes. The mushrooms are really the recipe and the artichokes are more of a how-to. For some reason, I have always been intimidated about cooking artichokes, and therefore, have never done. I really came up with the mushrooms to go with the artichokes, but they turned out really well. They were inspired by this post from Proud Italian Cook.
Chicken Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
6 large Portobello mushrooms
4 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup pesto (homemade or purchased – I used purchased because I don’t have fresh basil this time of year, but I am sure homemade would be better.)
1/4 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in oil but drained
1 Tbsp. capers
1/4 cup Kalamata olive, chopped
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, plus more to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, boil the chicken breasts until done. While the chicken is cooking, clean the mushrooms and then scrape out the gills with a spoon. Broil them (unstuffed) for five minutes on each side. When the chicken is finished, cut into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and remaining ingredients (except the additional mozzarella). Still on the broiler pan, stuff the mushrooms until very full. Sprinkle the additional cheese on top. Broil again until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown.
Now for the artichokes. I have no idea why I was intimidated by them. They are really simple. Trying it was inspired by the article in Food Network Magazine this month, though I did read about it a few other places before trying it. After washing, just cut about an inch off the top and cut off the stem. Remove about a layer of the more course leaves. Just pull them off. Then use your kitchen shears to cut the points off the remaining leaves. Rub a little lemon juice on the cut parts to keep them from browning. And then steam them until they are tender. The steaming took about 40 minutes. I served them with melted butter for dipping.