For most working moms, chicken is a staple. Whether boneless skinless, whole, or even nuggets, we all have it in our freezer, and let’s face it. We have it, because we know our kids will eat it. They’re programmed from birth to love chicken nuggets and many are taught that any new protein, “tastes like chicken,” and there is a little truth in that. Chicken is essentially a blank canvas; it can be transformed into just about anything.
Like most moms, I’m always trying to find new recipes and new ways to cook chicken. However, every once in a while, I throw caution to the wind, and I cook dinner for me. I cook what I want for dinner, and if they (the kids & husband) don’t like it, well…there’s a fridge full of leftovers! (Gasp!)
Well, to my surprise, my “take it or leave it” attitude didn’t cause a mutiny, no one starved, and truth be known, they liked “MY” dinner. In fact, my picky teen had two helpings of pasta, my puny 8 yr old had two helpings of chicken, and my “I don’t like capers” husband cleaned his plate. Hmmmm…I may have to cook this way more often.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
olive oil for frying
1 TBSP olive oil
1 garlic clove-mashed and minced
1 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 TBSP capers
1/4 c. cream
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 lb. spaghetti–cooked al dente
1/2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1 lb. asparagus
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a shallow dish, combine flour and seasonings. Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and pound flat with a mallet or meat tenderizer. Once flattened, cut each breast in half to make 8 smaller chicken pieces. Dredge chicken pieces in flour and set aside.
Heat 1-2 TBSP olive oil in a non stick skillet. Fry each chicken piece until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side, over medium- high heat. You may need to add more olive oil to the skillet after each round of frying. Allow chicken to rest on a paper towel while making the lemon sauce.
Once pasta is cooked according to package directions and drained, toss in olive oil and lemon juice before plating and serving.
After chicken is fried, use the same skillet to make sauce. Remove any burnt or blackened flour from the skillet. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute scallions and garlic over medium-low heat for 1 minute stirring continuously to prevent burning. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to boil for 3-4 minutes and reduce by half. Add cream and Parmesan cheese and heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for just a couple of minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and drizzle over chicken and pasta.
While this isn’t really part of the recipe, I thought it should be addressed. Too many people over think vegetables. Asparagus, like many veggies, doesn’t need very much preparation. In this recipe, it’s a 10 minute simple side dish.
Cut the tough ends off of asparagus, by bending one to find where it would naturally break, and then, cutting all of them to a similar length. Line a shallow cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Place the asparagus onto the lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Toss with your hands to coat everything. Bake at 425 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until they begin to sizzle. If your asparagus are small & tender (young) it will take much less time than if they are larger (older). Remove from oven before they char.