This is spring on a plate, and it can be on your table in about 30. (And, it’s healthy.) Boom, boom, boom.
The chicken is marinated quickly in lemon juice and zest, along with a little garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Then, it’s thrown on the grill for less than 15 minutes. Asparagus seasoned with parm and crushed red pepper flake is a quick and delicious accompaniment. Strawberries spiked with a little sugar and lemon juice let you forget they’re not quite in season. Make it for dinner this week to remind yourself spring is here.
Lemon & Garlic Chicken with Asparagus & Strawberries
1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1/2 a lb.)
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 bunch of thin asparagus spears
2 tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano
Dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. strawberries
1 tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper
In a medium size bowl, grate in one clove garlic using a microplane. Then, add the zest of half a lemon to the bowl. Squeeze in lemon juice from one half. Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Whisk in 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive to make a quick marinade.
Using a meat tenderizer, mallet or heavy bottomed skillet, pound the chicken until it is even in thickness (about 1/2 an inch). Cut it in half vertically and toss each in the lemon garlic vinaigrette.
Set aside. Start on the strawberries. Slice the strawberries into pieces, removing the tops. Add them to a bowl. Then, mix in the sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Set aside to macerate.
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Take one asparagus spear and snap it where it naturally bends. Then, use it as a guide to chop the ends of the entire bunch. Cut the stack into pieces that are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp. evoo and salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
When the grill is hot, add the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes on one side. When it is golden, flip it and cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes. Turn again, if is not cooked through. You can tell it’s done by pricking the thickest part and seeing if the juices run clear. If this is done before your asparagus, remove to a plate and cover with foil.
While the chicken is going, add the asparagus to the hot pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the spears are slightly tender, grate 2 tbsp. parm over the spears. Toss to coat. Then, if you’re serving a toddler or someone who doesn’t like spicy foods, remove their portion. On the rest, sprinkle a bit of crushed red pepper flakes.