This Italian Inspired Lemon Chicken with Asparagus, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese will have you licking your plate and going back for more! Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
I know this is kind of a rewind of the Southern Italian Lemon Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini I shared in early February, but that recipe was just too delicious to not play with. And truthfully where subtle zucchini takes a backstage and allows the lemon and mushrooms to shine, assertive asparagus and goat cheese completely change this dish. And one is not better than the other–both are fabulous–but they are actually pretty different. And equally good. When Alex learned that John was getting all the leftovers of this as we headed to Columbus for the weekend, well, she complained. A lot. Vociferously.
But first! I have some exciting news. Long time readers may have noticed me taking a bit more interest than usual in regional Italian cuisine. This dish, for example, is inspired by Wild Rosemary and Lemon Cake: A Collection of Italian Recipes from the Amalfi Coast, which will have you dying to wander the Amalfi coast. Anyway, John’s department hired a new professor last year with connections to the south of Italy, and last summer she took a group of students to Italy (you can see where this is going, right? RIGHT!?!?). Last autumn the professor had a baby. So this year they wanted a professor to carry on the connection so to speak, but she did not want to go this summer.
Yes please!!!! In late May The Spiced Life will be going traveling foodie! We are headed to Rende, which is in the province of Consenza, which is about 20 minutes from the beach on the west coast of Calabria. We will be there through the end of June. It has been so hard keeping this from you guys! We have known about the possibility for a while, but nothing was confirmed until this past week.
Can I pause for another SQUEE?
So much like when I went to Morocco (in the summer of 2011 if you were not reading then), don’t be surprised if you see a lot more southern Italian dishes appearing on this blog. Don’t expect to see red and white sauce–I don’t think I will ever be super enamored of traditional Italian American red and white sauces, but citrus? Only my favorite fruit! Calabrian chile peppers? I am so down with that! Figs? Bring ’em on! In other words, I am pretty sure I can find some stuff to be excited about eating.
We still don’t know if we will have a kitchen. So this site could go all foodie traveler or it could be a mix of the traveling with trying to cook in another country. Frankly I can get equally excited about either. In addition to exploring Calabria with the kids while John teaches, we hope to be able to visit the Amalfi coast, Sicily, Rome (which we will hit at the beginning or end as that is where the airport is) and Venice. Holy moly I have to pinch myself just having typed that.
Don’t be surprised either if you hear me panicking a lot. I’ve never been gone this long! And it is so soon! And! And!
- 3-4 lbs chicken thighs, patted dry and sprinkled with salt and pepper
- around 1/2 cup AP flour
- 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 med-large onion (any color, I used red), thinly sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 t coarse aleppo chile pepper, plus some for garnish for those who like things hotter
- 1 lb sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 cup white wine, divided (I used a Pino Grigio), plus more for deglazing
- 2 bunches asparagus, the bottom woody stem snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
- juice of one lemon
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
Pat the chicken dry and season on both sides with salt and black pepper. Place a wide, shallow bowl with the flour in it by the cook top. Heat a large skillet (I used a 14 inch) over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When it starts to shimmer, start dragging each piece of chicken in the flour and then knocking the excess off. Place in the skillet. Do not over crowd the pan, you will probably have to do this in batches.
Make sure the chicken is browned on both sides--this will take a good 10 minutes or more per batch. After each piece is browned, just place it in a bowl or on a plate.
When all the chicken has been browned, add the onions with a pinch of salt to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes or so, until softened. Add the garlic and aleppo pepper. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add a splash or two of wine to the pan and scrap up the bottom. If the pan is too dry, add a little more olive oil as well.
Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until they have released their liquid, 5-10 minutes. Keep deglazing the pan as needed with splashes of wine.
Add 1/2 cup of wine and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a minute or two, then add the chicken pieces, skin side up. Cover and turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is nearly cooked through.
Then add the second 1/2 cup of wine and bring again to a boil. Stir the asparagus in. Let it simmer briskly until the chicken is completely cooked through and the asparagus is crisp tender and bright green.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the dish. Taste for salt and pepper. When the seasoning is right, layer the thin lemon slices over the pan and scatter half of the crumbled goat cheese over the top.
Serve garnished with more crumbled goat cheese and chopped parsley.
Scatter the dish with lemon slices before serving.
And some housekeeping….
I know, what we all need is more social media, right? So feel free to disregard, but I wanted to tell you guys about a new site I have been using. And truly I think Yummly is a cool site (or app) for finding, sharing and saving great recipes. And if you add the Yum button to your toolbar, you can easily add any recipe from here or elsewhere on the web to your Yummly recipe collection. Feel free to follow me at my publisher page!