Meaty shiitakes, a good sear on the chicken, and a sprinkle of nutty parmesan cheese—not to mention the sweet, tender-crisp asparagus—make this low-fat dish a winner. Prep and Cook Time: about 30 minutes. Notes: If you prefer your asparagus more fully cooked, return it to the oven once you've lifted out the chicken and bake it 5 to 10 minutes more.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boned skinned chicken breast halves (8 oz. each)
2 large shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme, plus chopped thyme for garnish
8 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, rinsed and halved, or halved button mushrooms
About 1/2 tsp. salt
About 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pound slender asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup freshly and finely shredded parmesan
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy ovenproof frying pan (not nonstick) over high heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Add chicken breasts, top side down, and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn chicken over.
Add shallots and garlic to pan with chicken, stirring occasionally so garlic doesn't burn, until shallots are soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme sprigs, mushrooms, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook until mixture begins to boil, about 1 minute.
Lay asparagus over chicken, then cover pan and put in oven. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through (cut to check) and asparagus is tender (see Notes). Transfer chicken to a plate.
Season asparagus-shiitake-stock mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Divide vegetables among 4 rimmed plates or shallow pasta bowls, top each with a piece of chicken, and spoon sauce over all. Garnish with chopped thyme and parmesan.
Wow! This is not only incredibly easy, but beyond delicious! I have 4 teenagers and all of them scoffed initially when I told them what was for dinner, "Mom's being creative again!" But after dinner, there was not a morsel left and then the ultimate compliment, "Mom, you can make that one again." My husband kept saying he felt like he was in a 5 star boutique restaurant. So I think you can say my family approved! I wish I could give this one 10 stars! On a more functional note, I did use the shiitake mushrooms and they were WONDERFUL! Also, for those on South Beach this recipe fits right in!
I really liked this recipe. My husband used regular button mushrooms, so I can't imagine the flavor with the shiitakes. It had a nice savory flavor, and an all together, nice rounded meal. We definitely would serve this for guests.
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