Steamed asparagus is a beautiful thing. Actually, asparagus in all forms is delicious. One of my favorite sneaky ways to bump up the excitement of steamed asparagus is to add some finely minced (or pressed) garlic and a little bit of salt before cooking it.
Get ready for next-level steamed asparagus. Did you know that asparagus is a great source of fiber? It also has lots of vitamins A, C and E… which is all the proof you need that asparagus is great, really.
By the way, if you want to save your lovely little spears from untimely wrinkling, wrap the ends in a damp paper towel and store them in the refrigerator.
Except for the asparagus, this is a one-pot meal, which means not only is there less cleaning to do, but you get all the delicious flavors and healthy (and not so healthy) bits together in a luscious sauce.
Total time: 45 minutes
On the Counter
2 large free-range chicken breasts, split or 4 small chicken breasts
100 mL (1/2 cup) chicken stock or white wine
200 g (1/2 lb) white mushrooms
1 tbsp butter (or olive oil, if you’re dairy-free)
handful of chopped fresh parsley
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves
16 spears of asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
What to Do
Season the chicken liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
Slice the mushrooms, chop the shallots and mince the garlic. Set 1/4 of the garlic aside. Slice the asparagus spears longways, either in half or quarters, depending how thick they are. You can then chop those pieces in half (or not!).
In a wide, flat bottomed pan, like a frying pan or skillet, heat the butter until it’s melted and bubbly.
On medium high, sear the chicken breasts (skin side down if it’s skin on) until it’s browned, about 4-5 minutes but have a peek underneath to confirm. If it’s sticking to the pan, give it more time. Flip the chicken and do the same again.
Remove the chicken and set it aside, covered.
Add a little more butter if needed, lower the heat and fry the shallots for 2-3 minutes, until they’re soft, stirring occasionally. Then the garlic goes in for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in the mushrooms, and sautée. They’ll release a lot of liquid. Stir frequently until they’re soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn up the heat, stir in the wine or stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping (with a wooden spoon) the bottom.
Return the chicken to the pan and simmer it for about 10 minutes, until the chicken is at 65C/ 144 F degrees, or isn’t pink in the middle.
With about 5 minutes left on the chicken, set a 2-tiered steamer pan boiling. Add in the asparagus, 1/4 of the garlic and a pinch of salt. Steam for 2-3 minutes until bright green. Don’t let them go further or they’ll be too soft.
Once the chicken is done, remove the pan from the heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.
Serve on its own, or with a salad or brown rice. It’s also good as leftovers!