Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa and Roasted Asparagus is a fresh and healthy 30 minute meal!
Is it possible to still be full three days post-feast? I am still feeling stuffed to the gills following Ben’s marathon meat smoking session on Friday! He had the day off to watch March Madness, and I quote, “the only thing I like better than playing golf is smoking meat and watching basketball.”
I was surprised to hear how many of you have smokers at home and are looking for new recipes, so we’ll try and get a post put together sometime this spring around Ben’s tried and true meat smoking methods. Who knew there was such a thing? ;) Truly though he’s been fine tuning them for 5+ years now and each batch is better than the last.
The crew was up bright and early Friday morning to get everything going and while Ben lit the fire, Lincoln and I ran around the driveway attempting to stay out of the path of the cherry and hickory wood smoke billowing from the top of the smoker. We weren’t very successful – I felt like Mother of the Year when I took Lincoln to the grocery store later that day and we both reeked of smoke!
The end result was so worth it though. Although it was just Ben, me, my Dad, and a friend, we had enough food to feed the entire neighborhood. Among the spread was 2 racks of ribs and a pork butt, both seasoned with Ben’s homemade rub then smoked for 4 hours and finished in the oven. Look at that bark!! They were fall off the bone tender.
Plus a chicken and 2 filets of salmon, seasoned with lemon pepper, salt, and pepper, and then smoked for 2 hours. Hands down my favorite smoked food of all time – I think I ate 3/4 of one of these filets.
My Dad did his part by bringing a Peanut Butter Cup Pie. Bless his heart. Can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures of him and Lincoln. They had a blast together all day!
The rest of the weekend was spent here and there. A trip to the mall and a few parks, plus walks and being silly at home. 19 months – man, I love ya’. Miniature polo shirts, too. Are you kidding me?!
This Friday was also the first day of spring (wahoo!) so to celebrate I made you a healthy 30 minute meal that’s full of fresh springy flavors like artichoke, lemon, and asparagus. This recipe is as recharging as opening your windows and doors to let a cool spring breeze roll through. Such a nice change of pace from hearty winter comfort foods (we still tight though.)
Lemon pepper-seasoned chicken breasts are sautéed and placed over a bed of roasted asparagus then finished with zingy artichoke salsa, and a flourish of feta cheese and fresh tomato. Spring is all about asparagus in my book, and this recipe highlights them in a wonderful way. Simply seasoned with garlic salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil, they’re roasted for a touch under 10 minutes – just enough time to let the stalks soften slightly and the tips crisp up.
Speaking of, I once worked with a guy who refused to eat asparagus tips. Asparagus tips! They’re, like, the icing on the cupcake. The umbrella in the cocktail. The cheese on the pizza – the best part! As I mentioned above, the quick roast in a hot oven makes the coveted asparagus tips just slightly crispy. It’s fantastic.
Also, I must say, if you’re a long time – like LOOONG time – IGE reader than you may remember this dish from way back in the day. I first posted the recipe in 2009 (that feels like a lifetime ago!) and it’s remained one of Ben’s and my favorites for a couple reasons. First because it’s from a neighborhood bar and grill we used to hit up all the time in Minneapolis when we lived there, Green Mill. When I found out we were moving back home to Iowa I emailed the restaurant to see if I could have the recipe since I ordered it every single time we went, and they totally pulled through. And second because it’s simple and healthy, yet super flavorful. Definitely feel good food.
I was going to save this recipe for a Way Back Wednesday post, but seeing as how it’s the very beginning of spring and all, I just couldn’t wait another day to re-share it with you. Whether or not it feels like spring where you live, I think one bite of this dish will remind you that warmer days, daffodils, screen doors, and evening walks are definitely ahead!
Start with 1 bunch asparagus. I’ve noticed that asparagus prices are finally coming down, down, down from highs in the $3+ mark this winter. Love it!
Snap the ends off then toss the asparagus with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper, and then roast at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the asparagus are al dente. Slightly less time if the stalks are really skinny.
Meanwhile, saute 4 chicken breasts (I obviously photographed half for the post,) that have been pounded thin then liberally seasoned with lemon pepper in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked through.
Last step (told you this was a simple dish!) is to stir together the Artichoke Salsa. That’s just 1 jar quartered artichokes that have been roughly chopped, 2 Tablespoons capers, 1/4 chopped small red onion, 1 microplaned or minced clove garlic, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 Tablespoons Italian salad dressing, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, salt, and pepper. I had everything I needed already at home, save for the artichokes!
Last step is to assemble. Divide the roasted asparagus between four plates then top with a chicken breast, 1 Tablespoon crumbled feta and some chopped tomato. Simple and scrumptious – hope you enjoy!
Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa and Roasted Asparagus
Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa and Roasted Asparagus is a fresh and healthy 30 minute meal for spring!
- 4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
- Lemon Pepper seasoning
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed off
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- garlic salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- For the Artichoke Salsa
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/4 small red onion, minced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Italian Salad Dressing
- 1 clove garlic, microplaned or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Add asparagus then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with garlic salt and pepper. Toss with fingers to coat then roast for 10 minutes (a little less for thin asparagus spears,) or until just barely tender.
- Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then spray with nonstick spray. Season both sides of chicken breasts liberally with lemon pepper then saute for 3-4 mintues a side or until cooked through.
- Add ingredients for Artichoke Salsa in a bowl then stir to combine.
- Divide roasted asparagus between plates then top with a chicken breast and scoop of artichoke salsa. Add 1 Tablespoon feta cheese and a quarter of the chopped tomatoes to each plate then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.