I was going to write a different post today, but my computer borked out on me yesterday, and I wasn’t able to send the pictures to myself. Tragedy! Fortunately, yesterday was a productive day. I visited the new Aldi in my neighborhood, and since I had a $10 off $40 purchase coupon, I wanted to get enough to make things worth it, so dug out a recipe I’ve been holding onto for a little while. With the small pile of things in my cart, I thought I might be a couple dollars off the $40 minimum, but it turns out I was $10 off. Darn. So I got a bunch of things in the aisle right there – batteries, gum, almond snack packs – and brought my total to just $40, and paid for it all and left. Friends – I am now an Aldi convert. Let me preach.
But later. Some of the things that I got were a package of asparagus (which was what reminded me of the recipe in question), and chicken tenders. I do love a good breaded chicken tender. And making them myself was kind of exciting. I see so many recipes where you have to do the breading, and I am pretty sure I’ve done it before, but it’s always kind of fun. It also didn’t hurt that the liquid portion of the breading process was lemon garlic butter, which are nearly all my favorite things. Add to that Parmesan cheese in the panko breadcrumb top layer, and I was in heaven.
My tenders did not turn out quite so golden brown as the ones on the original recipe page, but that’s ok. I think if I’d wanted that, I could leave them in the oven for a couple more minutes on each side of the turn…but that’s not ideal for the asparagus, so … you gotta watch it all. Also, when this recipe says “Makes 4-6 servings,” it’s actually right. So many “Family” recipes like this one barely make one serving per person (so I tend to look for “serves 8” because that tends to be more realistically about what 4 people will eat), but this was a LOT. I had to force myself to take a slightly larger serving, and even then, the leftovers I packed myself were tight in their containers. I packed the sauce separately in it’s own little containers, but I’m not sure how it will translate on day two (or three), but I guess we’ll find out.
One-Pan Lemon-Parmesan Chicken and Asparagus
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1/3 cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese, separated
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter, separated
1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 pound asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
Optional: fresh parsley, 1 lemon for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Grab three bowls. Add the flour to one bowl.
Combine panko, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried parsley, garlic powder, about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt (I use seasoned salt) and pepper. Stir.
In the final bowl, add 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on lemon flavor intensity desired), minced garlic, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Stir. Remove 4 tablespoons of this mixture and set aside.
Slice chicken breasts to the size of tenders (about 1 and 1/4th inch strips) or use chicken tenders.
Coat in flour, heavily dredge in garlic lemon mixture, and then coat in the Parmesan panko mixture.
Place on prepared sheet pan. Use any remaining Parmesan panko mixture and sprinkle over tenders. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning over the tenders (I use Mrs. Dash lemon pepper)
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and remove.
Flip the tenders to the other side.
Place the asparagus next to the tenders and drizzle the reserved lemon butter sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the asparagus and toss with tongs.
If desired place lemon slices over the chicken (optional)
Return to the oven and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.
Meanwhile, whisk remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 tablespoons honey in a small bowl. Add some pepper and parsley if desired.
Remove from the oven and top with the honey lemon mixture and fresh parsley if desired and enjoy immediately.
Do not top chicken breasts with the honey lemon mixture unless eating immediately and aren’t planning on having leftovers since it will make it soggy.