Caterer Marty Wages of Columbus shares a recipe today for one of his popular dishes, Parmesan artichoke chicken. Photo by: Dispatch file photo
May 6, 2020 10:55:17 AM
Whether feeding a few or many, this Parmesan artichoke chicken dish from caterer and chef Marty Wages of Columbus is, he said, "the easiest recipe in the world, and it is delicious."
It's one of his go-tos when planning a menu for a large catered event, or even advising young brides just starting to cook.
"If I have 300 people to feed I love it because it's simple and uses so few ingredients," Wages said. "And it's a great low-carb dish."
At the heart of the recipe are boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened. They can be purchased frozen in a bag. Don't use overly large chicken breasts; by the time the center cooks to 165 degrees, the rest can be over-cooked.
The only other ingredients needed are artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and mayo.
"Don't tell your husband (or kids) it has artichokes in it because some people are preconditioned against them," Wages joked. "But everybody who's had this says it's scrumptious."
As for the garlic powder -- the recipe calls for 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon -- a tip from the chef: "When you think you've got enough garlic powder, put a little bit more in because that's what makes it really good."
Coping with shut-down
All events at The Southern, where Wages is chef, have been canceled during the COVID-19 crisis. The downtown Columbus venue hosts receptions and parties of all kinds. Like the rest of the food service industry, Wages has looked for ways to adapt. Recently, he began offering some of his signature foods by pre-order, for pick-up on Friday afternoons.
This Friday's order menu includes smoked pork loin, chicken spaghetti, homemade pimento cheese, corn salad, smothered green beans, all-butter croissants, Cowboy Cookies and, of course, "Marty's Famous Chicken Salad."
Orders - by text message only to 662-364-3021 - are due by 7 p.m. each Wednesday. Once an order is received, Wages will confirm with a text reply.
Pick-up is between 3-5 p.m. Fridays at The Southern, 513 Main St. Cash only payment; no cards or checks.
"We've been doing really well on Fridays," Wages said. "We're consistently selling out of nearly every item offered and are very appreciative of everyone's orders."
Wages hopes social venues and restaurants will soon be making their way back to bustling activity. But until then, continue to stay safe, support local businesses, enjoy more time with family and try out the Parmesan artichoke chicken.
"Anyone I've ever shown how to do it says it's the easiest," Wages said.
PARMESAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied, flattened
2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, quartered
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (add what you think it needs, then shake the bottle a couple more times because this is what makes the dish)
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise (start with 1/2 cup because you just want enough mayo to bind the ingredients together)
■ Drain and coarsely chop artichokes. Put artichokes in large mixing bowl along with the 2 cups Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and then begin adding mayo gradually until mixture holds together so you can mound on the chicken.
■ Spray your pan, pat dry the chicken breasts; put breasts in pan. Mound the artichoke mixture on the chicken and make sure it is spread over the entire chicken surface.
■ In a convection oven, cook at 350 F for 35 minutes, or internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees. In a conventional oven, cook at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Parmesan chicken breasts should be golden brown when completed.
(Source: Marty Wages, Columbus)
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.