Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lemon Thyme Chicken and Pan-Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Caper Mayonnaise

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.

Though... if you do have leftovers, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially when you're looking for a snack the next day.

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