More and more, I don’t mind cooking dinner, but I hate having to use creative energy to figure out what I’m going to make for dinner. I do like meal services for that reason and we do those occasionally, but I’m on my own most of the time. That means that I keep things pretty simple… naan pizzas, breakfast for dinner, soup, etc. We also do the tried and true standby of chicken, veggies, and a starch.
One of our favorites during the late spring and summer is asparagus and chicken. It’s such a simple dinner, but it’s very tasty.
Let’s start with the asparagus. I prefer skinny asparagus since they are more tender, but I was only able to find the big boys when I was at the store this week. In that case, I’ll cut them in half or quarters length-wise.
I put them in a shallow pan with about 1/2″ of water…
…and bring the water to a boil, cooking the asparagus until they are just tender.
Then, I’ll drain the water and add a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoon of minced garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and a pat of butter.
I’ll put it back on medium heat until the asparagus starts to brown a little.
Salt and pepper to taste and it’s so yummy! I do this with green beans, too, and it works just as well. Or you can roast them in the oven, mixing the veggie with the same ingredients before putting them in.
For the chicken tenders, I use the same ingredients, but I mix the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil with the chicken prior to cooking it. I’ll mix it together in a bowl or ziplock bag and then throw it in the fridge until I’m ready to cook it.
They key with cooking chicken well is to preheat the pan, so it’s hot when you put the chicken in. Leave it alone until one side is fully cooked and seared (one side is browned). With thin chicken tenders, they will sometimes cook through to the other side, as they did in the picture below…
It’s okay to turn them when they are little pink on top, though. Turn them over with tongs. If they are seared, they will be easy to lift and won’t stick. If they are sticking, they are not ready to turn, yet!
Cook on the other side until the chicken is cooked through. I am terrible at estimating when chicken is done, especially if I’m cooking a thick piece of breast meat, so I will almost always make a small cut and peek inside the thickest one just to make sure they are cooked.
And, we were actually eating this dinner, so I didn’t take the time for a pretty styled food shot. But, this is an everyday picture of an everyday dinner. I pair this with some rice, pasta, potato, or corn on the cob when it’s in season and sometimes a fruit salad.
So, if you feel stumped with dinner, as I often do, here is another thing to try and put in your rotation if you like it!
Most of the recipes I’ve shared over the years are better for fall and winter, but I love this Basil Pecorino Corn Salad for summer. It is creamy and crave-worthy.
What’s your favorite simple summer dinner?