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Well, the very veggie challenge of 2013 is finished, but I’m still working on ways to incorporate more veg into my diet. I don’t think I did a post on asparagus during the VVC, because I typically just saute the spears in a little olive oil and throw in a dash of salt & pepper. Sometimes I add lemon, but on the whole, it’s a fairly simple process and it felt a bit like cheating to do an entire blog post on sauteed asparagus.

However, asparagus is coming in to season and I really love it, so instead of focusing mainly on the vegetable, today we have a dish that incorporates the asparagus into a savory, lemony, healthy dish. Chicken and asparagus and a nice pan sauce to go with them. So that’s good, but then I took it a step further and converted the whole thing into a pasta dish. Yep. So here is my Chicken and Asparagus with a Lemon Pan Sauce, with an option to make it into a pasta dish that is perfect for spring because of the lightness of the sauce and asparagus. Go forth and cook!

 

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2 boneless chicken breasts, with skin
1 Bunch Asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
1 Lemon
1 C white wine or light beer
1/2 C Chicken Stock
3 Tbsp Whole Milks or Cream
1 Onion, small, diced
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp Thyme, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, pressed
salt & pepper

Optional:
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/2 box of Pasta
1/4 C extra Milk for Pasta Sauce

 

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Heat a frying pan and place the chicken breasts skin side down in the skillet. Once the fat has rendered out, add the diced onions to the pan to cook with the chicken. Once the onions begin to get translucent and the chicken has cooked enough to flip to the other side, add the garlic and rosemary (and flip the chicken breasts over to finish cooking). Season with a little salt & pepper.

 

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Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove the breasts to a plate and deglaze the asparagus with 1/2 C of the chicken stock. Add the asparagus to the pan and squeeze some lemon juice over the spears.  Saute until the asparagus is bright green and slightly al dente. Season with a little salt & pepper.

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At this point, the asparagus should be cooked and the liquid in the pan should be almost gone. Remove the asparagus and add the chicken stock, thyme, another good squeeze of lemon juice and 1 C of beer of white wine. I would encourage white wine, but if you don’t feel like opening a bottle, beer will do…

Scrape up any good bits on the bottom of the pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Whisk in the milk and cornstarch and let simmer for a few moments, until the liquid has slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper or lemon juice, as needed. Then strain the sauce through a sieve to weed out the onions and any other strange bits or lumps. Arrange a chicken breast and asparagus on a plate and serve with the sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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HOWEVER, if you are like me and love pasta, here’s how to adapt this recipe for a pasta dish.

 

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Time your cooking of the pasta so the pasta is just short of al dente when you finish straining the sauce. Strain the water out of the pasta and add 1/4 C whole milk or cream to the sauce. Pour the sauce back in the pasta pot with the pasta and add about 1/4 C parmesan cheese, stirring over low heat until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. You can also always add another squeeze of lemon, if the sauce calls for it.

Chop up  the chicken and asparagus and stir them into the pasta and sauce. Serve hot, with another sprinkling of parmesan cheese, cause who doesn’t like parmesan cheese?

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Chicken and Asparagus with Lemon - two ways
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, with skin
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 C white wine or light beer (not pictured)
  • ½ C Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tbsp Whole Milks or Cream
  • 1 Onion, small, diced
  • ½ tsp Cornstarch
  • ½ tsp Rosemary, minced
  • ½ tsp Thyme, minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, pressed
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional:
  • ¼ C Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ box of Pasta
  • ¼ C Extra Milk or cream for Pasta Sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat a frying pan and place the chicken breasts skin side down in the skillet. Once the fat has rendered out, add the diced onions to the pan to cook with the chicken. Once the onions begin to get translucent and the chicken has cooked enough to flip to the other side, add the garlic and rosemary (and flip the chicken breasts over to finish cooking). Season with a little salt & pepper
  2. Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove the breasts to a plate and deglaze the asparagus with ½ C of the chicken stock. Add the asparagus to the pan and squeeze some lemon juice over the spears. Saute until the asparagus is bright green and slightly al dente. Season with a little salt & pepper.
  3. At this point, the asparagus should be cooked and the liquid in the pan should be almost gone. Remove the asparagus and add the chicken stock, thyme, another good squeeze of lemon juice and 1 C of beer of white wine.
  4. Scrape up any good bits on the bottom of the pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Whisk in the milk and cornstarch and let simmer for a few moments, until the liquid has slightly thickened. Taste the sauce and add salt, pepper or lemon juice, as needed. Then strain the sauce through a sieve to weed out the onions and any other strange bits or lumps. Arrange a chicken breast and asparagus on a plate and serve with the sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Notes
To adapt this recipe to work as a pasta dish, do the following: Time your cooking of the pasta so the pasta is just short of al dente when you finish straining the sauce. Strain the water out of the pasta and add ¼ C whole milk or cream to the sauce. Pour the sauce back in the pasta pot with the pasta and add about ¼ C parmesan cheese, stirring over low heat until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. Chop up the chicken and asparagus and stir them into the pasta. Serve with another sprinkling of parmesan cheese.