The same three options keep cropping up as dinner choices at wedding receptions and Bar Mitzvahs: Steak, salmon and the inevitable chicken. Only of late do we get to decide upon a vegetarian meal, and who in the world wants a plateful of veggies at a party? We can have that at home.
I gave up attending an annual luncheon for my high school compatriots because the luncheon choice was either a salad or some sort of concoction containing chicken. You’re safer with the salad.
Mind you, I like chicken, during one period of my early life my father built a chicken coop and populated it with a few chickens. We lived in Connecticut at the time, and he concerned himself with running the nearby navy base, at least I thought he ran things over there. He certainly ran things at home; with the exception of the chicken family, which it turned out, was my job. You’d never imagine my father in his spit and polish uniform was a country boy, but he was, right down to the large vegetable garden and those blasted chickens.
As soon as we named a chicken and took note of its daily routine, my father dispatched it and my mother cooked it. I am not a country girl at heart, and I was never quite comfortable eating Esmerelda, but we did many deeds in the Depression which were not politically correct.
Now as a Sunday tribute to all the Esmereldas and Henriettas we have eaten:
CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKES
Dip skinless and boneless chicken thighs in beaten egg, then shake in flour.
Heat a little butter and oil and brown chicken lightly. Remove from pan.
Add 1# sliced mushrooms and a couple cloves of garlic and cook till mushrooms release moisture and are done.
Put chicken back in pan and pour 1 cup wine over. I used Marsala in this one but any white wine would do. Cover and cook on stovetop or in oven in moderate heat till done.
Add 1 can artichoke quarters and a small can of sliced water chestnuts. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream or more and a squeeze of lemon.