Lemon Chicken with Asparagus. So damn good.

So damn good.

Like, for real, lemon chicken is amazeballs. I think that word is obnoxious, but, damn this was delicious. Of course it would be, it was inspired by Her Greatness, Ina Garten. I own five of her cookbooks. Someday I aspire to throw parties like Queen Ina.

But if there’s one criticism I have of Ina, is that her recipes seem to drastically inflate the amount of ingredients needed, specifically in her seasonings and her stock recipes.

Like, I’m sure her homemade chicken stock cures cancer or something, but do you need three–THREE (3!!!)–whole chickens to make stock? Answer: No. That’s just a waste of food, in my opinion, because she says, after boiling & simmering, to “discard the solids.” Uurrgghh! That’s just wasteful, and I hate it.

Then there’s the salt use. The first time I made one of her recipes I followed it to the letter. It was so salty. Now whenever I try anything of hers, I just automatically cut the salt by half if not more. You can always add more later, but it’s really hard (read: damn near impossible) to take it away.

Moving on, Ina inspired this dinner from a recipe she posted to Facebook a couple weeks back. Her “Tuscan Lemon Chicken” recipe can be found in her “Back To Basics” cookbook, published in 2008. It sounds wonderful, and if I had 12 hours and a grill I’d totally try it.

This is a totally pared down version, bulked up with some veggies that cook right in the same pan, which means clean up is super easy. As someone who tends to overcook chicken/all meat, this turned out really moist. That’s probably because the chicken mostly poached in the lemon/white wine sauce, but–as previously stated–SO DAMN GOOD.

(Author’s Note: I feel I must issue an apology for the repeated use of the D-word. This post was written after two glasses of wine on the first day of menstruation…Ladies, you get me.)

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Lemon Chicken with Asparagus, makes 4 servings (Inspired by the divine Ina Garten, link above)

Ingredients

4 boneless chicken breasts, patted dry

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 small onion, roughly diced (This is pretty rustic. No need for crazy knife skills.)

juice of one lemon, save squeezed lemon halves

one bunch asparagus, ends trimmed & rinsed

1/2 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay. Nothing too sweet. No Riesling.)

2 tsp. olive oil

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

Salt & Pepper

Method

1. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil and cook the chicken breasts (do 2 at a time) for 2-3 minutes on each side to get some color on them. Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a 9×13 baking dish.

2. Add the butter, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the sauté pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice and then add the juice lemon halves too. Cook and reduce for 3 minutes. Add the white wine. Let the sauce simmer and reduce for another 5 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350* F. Pour sauce, with the lemon halves, over the chicken. Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes. Remove chicken from over. Add the asparagus on top of the chicken and turn it in the pan to cover in the lemon/wine sauce. Return to the over for another 15 minutes.

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4. Remove from oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm. Tip: Take a pair of tongs and squeeze the baked lemon over the final dish right before you eat. This is delicious, and I highly recommend it. Roasted lemon is just so damn good.

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