Friday, May 26, 2017

It's Asparagus Season!

I like asparagus. I like it steamed, with butter (oh, all right--I like almost anything with butter). I don’t like it drowned in sauce—hollandaise is good stuff but it kind of overpowers the delicate taste of fresh asparagus. But there are some things that it goes nicely with, and I found a new recipe!

Chicken with Asparagus and Leeks

2 medium leeks (white and green parts 
only, not the whole thing), sliced into 1/3” rounds

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper

chicken breasts or thighs (a note: chicken breasts vary widely in size these days, from normal to ridiculously large, so saying use two or four really doesn’t help you much. I prefer white meat so I’m using two monster breasts, which together weigh maybe three to four pounds. This should be enough for two adults with healthy appetites with some left over for lunch the next day.)

1/2 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 cups chicken broth

3/4 lb medium asparagus with the tough ends trimmed off, cut on an angle into 2-3 pieces per stalk

1 Tblsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tblsp fresh dill, chopped


Rinse the leeks to get rid of any grit.

Heat 2 Tblsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking). Add the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, turning occasionally, until they are just turning golden (about 15-18 minutes). Remove them from the skillet.

Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In another skillet add the rest of the oil and saute the chicken pieces (f you’re using bone-in breasts or thighs, cook the skin side first), about 12-16 minutes depending on the thickness of the pieces (the chicken will finish cooking in the next step). Pour the fat out of the pan and discard.

Add the wine to the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook, scraping up the bits on the bottom (about 1 minute). Add the broth to the pan, then return the chicken pieces (skin side up). Lower the heat to medium-low and cover, cooking until the chicken is cooked through (maybe another 15 minutes—as I said, it depends on the chicken).

In the first skillet you used, cook the asparagus pieces in 2 Tblsp of water, covered, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes (don’t let the asparagus get mushy!). Remove the skillet from the heat and add 1/2 tsp of lemon zest, a bit of salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir gently.

To serve, place a chicken piece in each plate, then add the asparagus and the reserved leeks, Reheat the broth, add the lemon juice, then ladle the liquid over the chicken in the bowls. Sprinkle the top with chopped dill and some more lemon zest. You can serve this with rice or pasta.

Goodness! I'm in the middle of editing two books right now, but nothing new is coming until November! Don't forget me!


  1. Looks great! We've had asparagus three times this week -- in a spring minestrone, in a creamy pasta, and last night, grilled with lemon pepper and butter!

  2. This look really tasty.
    Chicken pieces are like the sizing on women's clothes: all over the place!

  3. Aaah, you and your books are unforgettable! No worries. The recipe sounds delicious.

    1. Aww, thank you! I forgot to mention that the recipe is pretty healthy too, but why spoil the fun?

  4. Another winner, Sheila! Thank you. Hugs. MJ

  5. Sheila, the first time I used leeks I was astonished how much dirt was in them. Yipes! Good note in your delicious recipe. ~ Daryl

    1. I've never seen a field of leeks, but I'm going to guess they're grown in fine sand/dirt. So, yes, unless you love gritty food, washing is important!

  6. Oooo... asparagus is one of my very favorite foods! I usually steam or grill it and eat it plain. And since I'm the only one in my house who likes it, I cook and eat the entire bunch at one sitting, by myself. Also, I just finished Rotten to the Core and loved it!

    1. Thanks! I've always wanted to grow asparagus (my mother had a friend who did, in her garden), but I always heard that it took years to get a crop, and that was after preparing the bed. I think there are newer kinds that aren't as finicky.

  7. My wife loves aspargus so much I can't even tell :D