Sometimes I let my vegetables tell me what's for dinner. Case in point... the other day I was scanning the produce at the grocery store and I noticed some very nice-looking asparagus.
Now, I know it's not asparagus season but they were pencil-thin and a beautiful color. I dutifully ignored the "country of origin" portion of the price sign and snagged a full bunch off of the shelf. The next day I came across this delightful recipe. The best thing about it is the fact that the only ingredient I didn't already have was the lemon...
That was easy enough to fix.
That's about all you need to know about the asparagus. It took all of 8 minutes to make. You should try it (though, if you want to wait until next spring, I understand.)
But now, what do I do with the other half of that lemon? What do I have in my freezer? Chicken! Specifically, my favorite cheap-like-a-fox protein... chicken thighs.
(Side note... if you're interested in learning how to butcher meat, the first thing you should try is de-boning chicken thighs. It's simple and oddly satisfying.)
From here, I just pan-seared the chicken and threw together another pan sauce... here's how it goes.
Sprinkle chicken with salt.
Heat oil in pan over medium to medium-low heat. (seriously, I put my electric range on a 3. The dial goes up to 10-High). Let the pan sit on the heat for a good two minutes until the oil is just barely smoking.
Sear the chicken, skin side down for 8 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes.
Set chicken aside and pour out all but a tablespoon of fat.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine:
- 1 tbsp thai fish sauce (my new favorite ingredient)
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp minced lemon zest
- enough water to bring the total volume up to 1 cup
Saute 1/2 of a finely diced onion and 2 cloves of garlic for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the liquid and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Whisk in 1 tbsp butter.
Pour the sauce over the chicken.