Learning As I Chop

Need Some Spring? Try Asparagus

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on March 23, 2011

Ever have one of those days where you pick your recipe, plan your dinner, go the market, get excited, lose your steam and wind-up wth pasta and jarred sauce? That was me the other night. I had lots of grandiose dinner plans for H and me, but once 7pm hit, I was a pumpkin. Rather than waste some of the ingredients I had purchased, namely the asparagus, I decided to use them the next day instead. So I entered asparagus into Epicurious and found a recipe for Sauteéd Chicken Cutlets with Asparagus, Spring Onions, and Parsley-Tarragon Gremolata:

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon minced shallot

2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon (scant) saffron threads

12 chicken cutlets (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick; about 2 pounds)

Coarse kosher salt

2 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 pound spring onions or green onions (dark green parts discarded); white parts cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, pale green parts cut into 1/2-inchthick slices (scant 2 cups)

1 1/2 pounds slender asparagus, tops cut into 3-inch pieces, stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth

2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy whipping cream

Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl; cover gremolata and set aside. Heat heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add saffron and stir until slightly darker, about 30 seconds. Transfer to another small bowl; cool and crumble saffron. DO AHEAD: Gremolata and saffron can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Sprinkle chicken lightly with coarse salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, cook chicken until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Arrange chicken on platter; tent with foil.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and butter to same skillet. Add white and green parts of onions and sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add asparagus. Sprinkle saffron over vegetables. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper and sauté 1 minute. Add broth, reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and broth reduces and thickens to glaze, about 5 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche and gremolata. Season with salt and pepper. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to platter, arranging around chicken. Drizzle sauce over chicken and serve.

This recipe sounded great – I could use my asparagus and eat a relatively healthy meal. Having never heard of gremolata, I was also excited to try it. Here’s my first batch. Isn’t it pretty?

I hadn’t used tarragon before and was surprised that it could be paired with lemon, orange and shallots. However once I tried the tarragon, it made sense to me. Had a minty type of flavor to it.

And some greens

This recipe was pretty straightforward so I won’t go into it. My forgetfulness, however, did cause some kitchen excitement. Thought it was right on my list, chicken stock never made it to my shopping cart. Thank goodness for H and chicken bouillon, who saved the day. Note to self – always stock some stock in the pantry. One little cube and you get 2 cups of chicken broth in a pinch.

I was generally happy with this dish and consider it a nice introduction to Spring, despite the snow that is currently falling outside my window. Would pair well with some tasty wild rice (another thing we should stock at home) and a good glass of wine. Enjoy!


One Response

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  1. Marcus Neiman said, on March 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve been away on assignment for government secret forces but now I’m back and thank goodness. Spring has sprung with asparakeets! This looks fantastic! I’m going to go back to mt undisclosed location and cook me up some asparagus and tarragon chicken! Thanks LAIC!

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