March 24, 2012 Quick Chicken Saute with Asparagus, Peppers and Tomatoes










I can’t wait for the produce to start appearing in the farmer’s markets and in our garden. Until then I will have to make do with what looks reasonable in the supermarkets. Last night’s dinner was inspired by a recipe on the Fine Cooking  magazine website. The original recipe was titled, Quick Chicken Saute with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon Pan Sauce. A good foundation that I would make some changes to.  Quick sounded good to me, I could have all the elements ready and just wait for Joe to tell me he was on his way home. The recipe called for chicken breast, I chose to use chicken thighs. I have found that chicken thighs are moister in a sauteed dish. I doubled the asparagus, added a julienned yellow pepper and substituted readily available cherub tomatoes for the definitely seasonal cherry tomatoes. Any leftover vegetables, and there were not many, could be added to the next morning’s omelet or runny egg dish. The dish also called for some minced fresh basil at the end, but I would prefer to wait until it is really in season. I substituted sun dried tomato pesto to amplify the tomato flavor.  The result was a quick, tasty weeknight dinner. The only change I would make next time would be a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese to the finished dish.

Quick Chicken Saute with Asparagus, Peppers and Tomatoes

Serves two

  • 3 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T plus 2 t  olive oil
  • 12 small “cherub” tomatoes
  • 12 medium asparagus spears, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 2″ pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper cut into julienned strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 T  sun dried tomato pesto
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese to grate over the dish
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 T oil in a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, pepper and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened, and asparagus and pepper are golden brown around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and keep warm.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the chicken. Cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chicken to the vegetables.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and heat remaining 2t oil in the pan. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and lemon juice and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits in the pan and blend into the sauce, stir in the sun dried tomato pesto.  Simmer sauce for three minutes, reduce to medium low and add the butter. Stir in the chicken, vegetables and the juices that remain.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grate a little Parmesan over the dish if desired and serve immediately.

Notes-the cherub tomatoes have a tougher skin than cherry tomatoes so they may need to be “coaxed” to burst with the tip of a sharp knife. Other vegetables may be added or substituted, zucchini, mushrooms etc.

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I love to cook, garden, entertain and celebrate holidays with family and friends in Bucks County Pa. I was an off-premise caterer for over 20 years with events ranging from ten to four hundred guests.