Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add chicken in batches and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and add artichoke hearts.
Add sherry, lemon peel, and lemon juice to remaining butter in frying pan; stir over medium heat until well blended and hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and stir. Remove from heat and pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake until sauce is bubbling and golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes.