Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
The Omnivore was mulling over a restaurant menu and his mom was going to treat us to dinner. He finally decided on chicken and announced that fact when mom-in-law said, “UGH! DO NOT ORDER CHICKEN! Your future-wife can make beautiful chicken at home.”
Cue bashful looks and giving the side-eye to one another: we both know that beautiful chicken was not coming out my kitchen on a regular basis and the prospects of the aforementioned chicken were not looking good. I was a vegetarian at the time, newly interested in cooking, and whatever this statement of beautiful chicken is – well – it was far from what my husband was experiencing at home.
It was tough cooking meat when I never ate it and for some reason I was drawn to boneless skinless chicken breasts when cooking meals for my husband. It was probably due to their versatility and easily accommodating nature when it came to meatifying my vegetarian dinners.
When I finally got around to eating meat, boneless, skinless chicken was what I tasted first. And let me tell you: we’re lucky I didn’t vow off all meat right then and there. What a chewy lump of flavorless cud. Clearly my poor husband had been very polite for many years and rightly deserved ordering chicken in a restaurant.
I feel safe saying that I can cook a more appealing version of boneless, skinless chicken these days, although it is not a meat I gravitate towards. We really ever have a hunk of meat as an entree for dinner – we may have chicken IN something but never something WITH CHICKEN. Does that make sense?
In any case, this meal will be a repeat offender in our house. It fits the bill of beautiful chicken and I might even have the courage to serve it to my mother-in-law.
Lemon Chicken with Asparagus (inspired by Natalie’s Killer Cuisine)
2 chicken breasts halves
15 asparagus spears
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
- Clean and trim chicken breasts. Place a chicken on a cutting board and cover with a large piece of plastic food wrap. Using a mallet or a heavy skillet, pound chicken until 1/2″ all over.
- Place chicken breast side down (fleshy side up) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon zest.
- Place half the asparagus spears on top of the chicken breast and fold meat tightly over the spears, securing with two or three toothpicks.
- Repeat with remaining breast.
- Preheat skillet to medium-high heat and coat with olive oil, 1-2 tsp. Place rolled breasts good side down (seam side up) and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Turn chicken over carefully, and pour minced garlic and lemon juice all over. Pour chicken stock into pan and cook, covered, an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Place chicken in a 350 degree oven and cook 5-10 minutes or until full cooked.