This quick and easy dinner is a great way to incorporate asparagus into your main dish. The fresh flavors of lemon, rosemary, and thyme infuse this chicken and asparagus, making it taste like it took a lot longer to prepare than it actually did, and the lemon-Parmesan cheese combination is a classic.
Sheet pan dinners are super-popular right now, and I can see why. They are so quick and easy, yet roasting allows lots of flavors to combine and intermingle. The versatility of these types of meals is also really attractive. I can imagine endless combinations of different vegetables and herbs. With asparagus season almost upon us, I jumped the gun a little bit and bought some that was grown south of here at the grocery store. There really is nothing like asparagus that was just picked in a nearby field, but sometimes I get impatient. In my opinion, this type of recipe tastes best with thin asparagus spears, so look for the thinnest ones you can find.
I adapted this recipe from so many different ones I found at so many different places, that I can say it is a conglomeration of recipes. There are really lots of ways to roast chicken and asparagus. This is a way that works for me, though you may find, depending on the size of your chicken breasts, it needs a little more or less baking time. The key seems to be watching the chicken pretty closely and trying to find that sweet spot between being cooked through and not over-cooked. I also find that giving the chicken a good squeeze of lemon juice and a good spoonful of the juices in the pan after roasting helps keep it moist.
We had such a cold, brown April that it seems a complete shock that spring has truly arrived! Just overnight the grass turned green and there are buds on many of the trees. I forgot how much I love spring here. Everything is new and fresh, and my thoughts wander to past springs, like sighs in the wind. I try to keep sane and try to keep things running smoothly for my family, juggling lots of balls in the air. Sometimes I drop a ball and have to pick it back up. This delicious roasted lemon chicken and asparagus dinner is a great one to make on a busy night. It’s very easy, yet delicious, filling, healthy and nourishing.
Roasted Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
- 1 and 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts, sliced thin or pounded to uniform thinness)
- a bunch of asparagus (about 1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, the rosemary, thyme, and salt. Place the chicken breasts in a large zip lock bag. Pour the contents of the bowl into the zip lock bag, close the bag, and shake gently to coat the chicken. Put the chicken mixture in the refrigerator, and let the chicken marinate in the bag for at least 15 minutes. (If you want to marinate the chicken ahead of time, you can let it do so in the refrigerator for up to four hours).
When you are ready to bake, remove the chicken from the bag. On a large rimmed baking sheet, place the chicken breasts. Bake in your 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes if the breasts are quite thin. If they are thicker, you may want them in for 25 to 30 minutes before you add the asparagus. While the chicken is baking, wash the asparagus and snap off the tough ends. After about 20 minutes, remove the baking pan and place the asparagus spears around the chicken breasts in a single layer. Drizzle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then sprinkle them with salt and the Parmesan cheese. Put the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes more, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
Remove the pan from the oven. Drizzle the chicken and asparagus with more fresh lemon juice. Serve hot with your choice of pasta, rice, potatoes, or bread. Spoon some of the olive oil-lemon juice-Parmesan cheese juice from the pan onto the chicken to keep it moist. Enjoy!