Looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal? Then this recipe is for you! Most recipes for chicken and asparagus end up being more like a stir fry. I’ve updated and adapted that method of thinking to create a simple and delicious meal that looks and tastes like it came out of nice restaurant. It is also great because you have your vegetables taken care of. So it can be a meal on its own if you’re a meat and veggies for dinner person, or pair it with a simple side if you need a more substantial meal. I would suggest something that can pick up some of the juices from the sauce. A rice, boiled potato, or squash pasta are excellent accompaniments to this dish.
The first that you want to do when making any meal is get your “Mise en Place.” This is a French term that basically means everything in place, or everything is ready to go. Translation, chop and prep all your items before you start cooking, so that your station is organized and you can focus on the cooking of your ingredients. This is especially important when you’re cooking a one pot meal or something that cooks very quickly, not giving you time to catch up. Here you can see I have prepped all my vegetables and they are ready to throw into the pan as soon as my chicken comes out.
Now, we are ready to cook! Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper. I use garlic salt, I love it, it adds a little bit of extra flavor and helps when I’m making quick dishes with minimal ingredients. Use whatever you prefer. Sear the chicken in a hot skilled over medium high heat cooking about4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Don’t overcook your chicken, that will make it tough and rubbery. If you’re not sure if your chicken is done I suggest you invest in a meat thermometer. Chicken should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 to be safe to eat. Remember, when you pull your chicken off and let it rest it will continue to rise in temperature. My suggestion is to pull it at about 155-160 and cover with foil. Notice the color on my chicken, that is what we are looking for. That beautiful golden brown is where all the color is. See those bits in the pan, DO NOT scrape or wipe them out. Those bits are essential to making a great sauce.
Ok chicken is done, set it aside, and tent it with foil (as stated above). Then, in the same pan we are going to sauté our vegetables. Mushrooms go first as they take the longest to cook down. We need to time all our vegetables so we get the right textures. I want my mushrooms to cook down and release their flavor and their juices. It will take 8-10 minutes in total. I want my asparagus more on the al dente side so that it has a slight crunch. We need depth of flavor and texture in our dish to make sure that we have a well rounded plate. If I threw it all in at the same time my asparagus would be mushy and chewy and my garlic would be burnt. So, mushrooms first. When they start to cook down (approx. 3 min) add in your asparagus. Continue cooking for another 3-4 min. Then finally my shallot and garlic which will release flavors and become soft and translucent in about 2 minutes. So those go in last.
Here you have an option, you can stop here and you’ll have a great dish. Or you can continue with your vegetable by turning it into more of a sauce. If you have time, I recommend you continue, and its simple. First we need to deglaze the pan with a little dry white wine, about a half a cup. You can buy an inexpensive Dry Sherry at the supermarket for $7 and keep it in your pantry for occasions like this. The shelf life is very good and it will last for months. OR open up a bottle of a white wine you would want to serve with dinner, this is an excellent option for those that enjoy a nice glass of wine in the evening. I would suggest a dry sauvignon blanc but even a chardonnay would do. Whatever you have works. This step will release all those beautiful brown bits of flavor that will become the base for our sauce. Cook that down for a minute or 2 then add in 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Reduce that for a minute or 2 and add in a tablespoon of butter and a splash of cream (optional). That’s it, you’re done. Now your vegetables have a beautiful sauce like gravy to cover your chicken. Plate it up and enjoy!