My creamy skillet chicken and artichokes is a quick weeknight dinner which is a snap to make AND packed full of flavor! Pan seared tenderloins and canned artichokes keep things simple while evaporated milk makes for a lower-fat and seriously creamy sauce.
Spring is here but just barely which means we need more skillet dinners in our lives. Grilling recipes are coming soon, but creamy cooktop dinners are what I crave now.
And who can argue with fast, mostly pantry ingredients, and having both meat and veggies in one pot? I certainly can’t!
Simple Weeknight Dinner
As I was developing this recipe for skillet chicken tenders, I realized there where a few very important tenets which determined if the dish was a success (or a FAILURE!! 🙁 ) And once I followed these rules, it came out perfectly every time.
What do you need?
- Chicken tenders – Small and fork tender, this cut is perfect for a quick saute!
- Canned Artichokes – Buy the baby ones if you can since they have the best flavor.
- Evaporated Milk – Like the artichokes, this is a great pantry ingredient.
- Sauce Ingredients – Broth, wine, mustard, and so on to layer on the flavors.
- Shallots/Garlic – Shallots are one of my favorites and we just about always need garlic.
- Fresh Parsley – Fresh herbs make everything better.
How to make this
To make creamy chicken and artichokes, dredge and saute tenders until golden brown and cooked through. Then make a sauce with white wine, stock, and evaporated milk. Add the artichokes and chicken to the skillet, stir in some parmesan and serve.
- Salt and pepper the chicken then dredge in flour
- Pan sear the tenders until golden brown and cooked through
- Add the shallots and garlic and soften
- Add the wine and cook down, then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil
- Add the evaporated milk and simmer to make a thick sauce
- Stir in the parmesan and add in the artichokes
- Return the chicken to the skillet and heat through
Can you use breast meat?
Yes. However, you will need to either cut the breasts into tender sized pieces or pound them to about 1/2 inch thick.
Evaporated milk subs?
You can use heavy cream in place of the evaporated milk.
If you are careful and don’t let the sauce get too hot, you can also use either half and half or whole milk. Note that the sauce will be thinner and you need to make sure it doesn’t boil or the milk may curdle.
You may be able to use non-dairy milks, but I have not tested that. (I have used full-fat canned coconut milk in other recipes to good effect.)
Using up the evaporated milk
It’s only a few ounces so you can’t do anything major. You can use it in your coffee or tea, replace some of the liquid in your oatmeal, or use it to add a little ‘cream’ to a following night’s dinner.
To store evaporated milk, transfer it to a sealed container or tightly cover the can with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. Evaporated milk will last up to 4-5 days if refrigerated.
If you try my recipe for Creamy Skillet Chicken and Artichokes, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Creamy Skillet Chicken and Artichokes
- 1 - 1 1/4 lb chicken tenders
- kosher salt and black pepper
- all-purpose flour
- 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 can baby artichokes, halved
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper the chicken tenders. Then dredge in flour and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the skillet is hot and the oil is shimmery, add half of the chicken tenders.
- Cook the chicken, turning as needed, until until the tenders are golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or plate. Repeat with the rest of the tenders.
- Wipe out the skillet to remove all the dark brown flour. Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the shallots and garlic. Cook until the shallots are soft, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add the wine. Bring to a boil and cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes
- Add the chicken stock, oregano, and mustard. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the evaporated milk and bring back to a boil to let the sauce thicken a little.
- Then reduce the heat and stir in the parmesan. Once it's melted, add in the artichokes and heat them through.
- Add back in the chicken and warm it up (about 30 seconds). Then sprinkle in the parsley and serve.
- Salting the tenders: If you have time, it's a great idea to salt and pepper the tenders at least one hour ahead and up to one day. This will give time for the salt to permeate the tenders and act as a dry brine.
- Evaporated Milk: Make sure you buy evaporated, not condensed milk. (Evaporated milk is not sweetened.) Evaporated milk has a similar consistency to heavy cream and is great for making creamy, cheesy sauces without all the fat.
- Artichokes: I prefer using the smallest canned artichokes on the shelf. They might be called small or baby artichoke hearts or you may see the 14 oz can labeled 8-10 artichokes.
- Chicken breast: You can substitute in breasts so long as you cut them into tender sized pieces. Note that the meat might be a little tougher and you will have to get out the knife instead of having it ready to go.
- Dredging: DO NOT skip this. The coating helps the meat to stay tender and juicy.
- Sauce too thick? Add a little more of the evaporated milk until you are happy with the thickness
- Temperature: I bring the chicken tenders up to about 155-160F before I take them off the heat.
- Parmesan Cheese: I call for freshly grated cheese in the recipe because pregrated cheese does not melt smoothly into the sauce. I've used pregrated before and it doesn't work!
- White Wine: No substitutions here! The sauce can break if you switch in something else (like vermouth). If you don't have any, just add a little more chicken stock and maybe a squeeze of lemon at the table.