• Time: 30 minutes total

I love a good skillet dinner. If you think the artichokes might be a deal breaker with the kids -- make it anyway! (Isn't that what this month is about?!) Serve with a baguette to sop up the juices.

Dinner: The Playbook Dinner: The Playbook
  • 1 1/3 pounds chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless), salted and peppered 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup) 

  • 8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) thawed frozen or canned artichoke hearts, drained and sliced lengthwise 

  • grated zest of 1 lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon) 

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 

  • salt and pepper to taste 

  • 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes (or 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes), or to taste 

  • 1/2 cup white wine 

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth 

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream 

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 

  • chopped fresh parsley or thyme leaves

In a large nonreactive skillet, brown the chicken pieces in the olive oil over medium-high heat, in batches if necessary, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (They do not have to cook through.) Remove the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, and add the red pepper flakes and the onions. Cook for a minute or two, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits left over from the chicken. (Keep those brown bits in the pan -- they add lots of flavor.) Add the artichoke hearts, lemon zest, oregano, and salt and black pepper. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes then stir in tomatoes. Nestle the chicken thighs among the vegetables, then add the wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken mixture is simmering, in a small bowl whisk together the cream and mustard. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the creamy mustard sauce. Serve topped with parsley or thyme.

In the morning: Transfer your chicken to the fridge to thaw if it's in the freezer; chop your onion and store it in the refrigerator in a bowl covered with plastic wrap; assemble the nonperishable ingredients on the counter.

Suggested side: Baguette or whole wheat flatbread

From Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach, Ballantine Books 2014.