Jan 3, 2023
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Upgrade your pan-seared chicken breasts with this recipe for lemon chicken and asparagus with a creamy garlic sauce.
This melt-in-your-mouth chicken is easy enough to whip up in 30 minutes any night of the week. It’s the type of recipe that will clear up the plate!
Lemon Garlic Chicken with Asparagus
Think lemon chicken and asparagus are basic? Think again. This is one of those recipes you can rely on for a crowd-pleasing meal made with fresh ingredients.
Everything comes together in the skillet, and you’ll learn how to make an incredible pan sauce with butter, aromatics, broth, and a touch of whole milk.
Want to make it a hearty meal? Add a dose of creamy mashed potatoes, cooked grains, or crisp side salad (with croutons and zippy vinaigrette).
What Meat Goes Well With Asparagus
Asparagus is a popular veggie for a reason, its mild flavor and snappy texture pair great with any kind of protein: chicken, beef, pork, and fish.
And nutritionally speaking, asparagus offers a variety of health benefits like fiber and vitamin K, and folate.
They’re straight forward to cook to perfection in a skillet, steamer basket, or oven, as I do in this Baked Salmon & Asparagus. Definitely give that recipe a try after this one!
What You Need
Here’s a run-down of everything you’ll need to make this simple chicken dinner happen tonight:
- Chicken: use boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) for this recipe.
- Salt & pepper: the basics!
- Olive oil: to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan and giving it a good sear.
- Butter: the starter of the dreamiest pan sauce.
- Shallot or onion: a flavor booster that makes this sauce taste even better.
- Garlic: because butter and garlic are a match made in heaven.
- Dried thyme: for a floral-earthy element. You can also use Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning.
- Red pepper flakes: adds a little heat, omit if necessary, add more to your liking.
- Chicken broth: deglazes the pan.
- Whole milk or half & half: gives the sauce a perfect creamy flavor and consistency.
- Lemon: brightens all the flavors.
- Asparagus: steamed with butter and seasonings- it will be the best you’ve had!
*Scroll down to the recipe card to grab the full ingredient amounts and detailed cooking directions.
Want more incredible chicken recipes you can make any night of the week? I’ve got you covered with the ideas in this book:
70+ Epic Chicken Recipes
If chicken is your go-to meal builder, you’re going to love the recipes inside this book!
From marinades, soups, slow cooker meals, one-pot wonders, sheet pan dinners, and more, the recipes inside are delicious and kid-approved.
How to Make Chicken and Asparagus
Get ready to impress yourself and everyone at the table. For best results, you’ll want to use either a stainless steel pan or cast-iron skillet; both make incredible pan-seared chicken.
Butterly the chicken breasts and season with salt and black pepper.
In a large pan, sear the chicken for 4 minutes on both sides over medium-high heat. The exterior should be golden brown, and the internal temperature 165F.
- Brown some butter
In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Make the sauce
Quickly pour in the chicken broth and milk, stirring to scrape up the tidbits from the pan’s surface. Bring the sauce to a simmer, add the thyme, and reduce the heat to medium-low for 10 minutes.
- Make the BEST asparagus
Melt more butter in a large skillet and sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add the asparagus spears, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
Add the water to the pan of asparagus and cover. Steam for 10 to 13 minutes, occasionally removing the lid to stir everything.
- Finish the chicken
Once the lemon garlic sauce is smooth and dreamily simmering, add the chicken breasts back to the pan, top with fresh lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Grab a plate
Serve the chicken with the lemon garlic asparagus, some pan sauce, and a fresh lemon wedge. Bon appétit, my friend.
Prep Ahead Tips
There are a few steps that can be completed ahead in order to get this meal on the table faster. They might seem small and not worth completing ahead of time, but trust me, it will shave off a good 15 minutes.
Butterfly the chicken breasts
Not only does this save you an extra step on a busy weeknight, but eliminates the chances of cross-contamination since no one is cutting raw chicken and veggies in the same area.
Prep the veggies
Fresh items like asparagus, shallots, and garlic can be trimmed or chopped up to 4 days ahead of refrigerated in separate food containers for up to 4 days.
Pan-Seared Lemon Garlic Chicken & Asparagus
For the chicken
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied into 4 pcs
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or Italian seasoning
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
- 1 medium lemon juiced
For the Asparagus
- 1 lb fresh asparagus ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes optional
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 1 lemon divided
- On a flat surface, butterfly the two chicken breasts into 4 thinner pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and heat it up. Place the chicken breasts in the hot pan and cook, without moving them, for 4 minutes on the first side, then once golden and seared, flip them over and continue cooking for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until the chicken breasts’ internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove from pan onto a plate.
- To the same pan, add the butter and melt it, using the back of a spatula to grease the entire surface. Add the chopped shallot and sauté, for 2 minutes, until it’s translucent and golden. Add the garlic, and stir to cook the garlic for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth and milk or half and half to the pan, bringing it to a simmer while stirring the tidbits from the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus by heating up a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, melt the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the asparagus to the pan, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to distribute. Add the water to the pan and cover it immediately. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, opening up the cover to stir occasionally.
- Once the asparagus are ready, remove the lid, squeeze half a lemon over the top, stir and turn off the heat.
- Once the lemon garlic sauce is ready, add the chicken breasts back to the pan, squeeze the lemon juice into the pan, mix to combine into the sauce. Spoon some sauce over the top of the chicken and simmer for 2 minutes to heat everything through.
- Serve the chicken with the cooked asparagus and lemon wedges from the remaining ½ lemon sliced into wedges.
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