The artichokes give this very simple dish a rich, pungent flavor—but they must be very fresh and young. This is delicious served with Courgettes Râpées, Pommes de Terre à l’Ail, Tomates Provençale, Févettes à l’Ail, or Carottes Paysanne.
Wine goes very poorly with artichokes, but a dry white wine may be acceptable if it is well chilled.
Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise, remove the tough outer leaves and the choke, and cut off the stems. Soak them in water and lemon juice for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Drain the artichokes and fry them over a medium flame for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside in a covered dish.
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with thyme. Reheat the oil in which the artichokes were cooked and brown the chicken on all sides. Lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook for 5 minutes.
Arrange the chicken in the center of a warm platter and surround it with the artichokes. Add the wine to the pan juices while scraping the bottom with a spatula, and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Pour this over the chicken and serve immediately.
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