These brisk winter days have me craving a hearty one-pot meal. The combination of the crisp chicken skin, plump juicy meat and rich broth is outstanding in this braised dish. The extra step of browning the chicken before cooking is worth the little bit of extra effort. The chicken is then braised in a deeply flavored broth with a Mediterranean flair of olives, garlic, artichokes, and lemon. Artichokes are high in vitamin C, high in fiber, and considered a heart healthy food. The artichokes can be purchased fresh, but are even easier to use if purchased frozen, packed in a jar or a can. Rinse the artichokes packed in a liquid well before using. I used fresh grilled artichokes hearts that are vacuum packed and sold in the refrigerated section of the market.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or Dutch-oven, heat the oil and brown the chicken, skin-side down for about 7-8 minutes. Brown the chicken in batches as crowding the pan will cause the chicken to steam and not brown. Transfer the chicken thighs to a baking dish. Scatter the artichokes hearts (not the brine), olives, garlic, lemon slices and thyme sprigs over the chicken.
Pour off the fat from browning the chicken, but save the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of the artichoke brine (if available), chicken broth, sherry and fish sauce or soy sauce, and bring to a boil. Pour this mixture around the chicken in the baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and braise the chicken for one hour, until the chicken is very tender.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Uncover the chicken and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes longer to crisp the skin. Discard the thyme leaves and serve the chicken with the pan sauce. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.