This recipe is based off the flavors of my husband’s favorite meal – Lemon Chicken Penne Pasta. He loves this dish so much in fact it was on the menu for our wedding. The only problem with it, is the several cups of heavy cream, although I promise I’ll get the recipe to you someday because it’s fantastic! I tried photographing it twice already, and both times ended in complete failure, it’s delicious but kind of ugly so I’m definitely working on it.
Since neither one of use feels too great when we eat heavy dishes too often, we like to keep Lemon Chicken Penne to an occasional treat. However the flavors are just too good, so I came up with this much lighter version in the form of an easy sheet pan dinner. And I can tell you it was a huge success with Tyler, which is really saying something considering it’s his favorite meal I’ve been messing around with.
Most of the flavor in this dish comes from Herbs de Provence which is a blend of spices that pairs really well with chicken, and of course lemon. It’s one of those spices that’s worth adding to your spice cabinet because even if you only make this dish with it, you’re going to want to keep making it week after week. It’s pretty hard to get tired of these flavors, and we both enjoyed the leftovers cold the next day as lunch, so that’s another bonus.
For this recipe, you start by washing the asparagus and snapping off the woody ends.
Tip: Store bought asparagus has been cut which means the bottom ends will be too hard and woody to eat. By snapping off the ends, you end up with just tender spears. I bought 2 pounds of asparagus, and ended up with just 1 1/2 pounds after removing the ends.
When I buy asparagus from the Farmer’s Market, they’ve harvested the asparagus by snapping the stalks at the natural breaking point. This means that the whole bunch is useable without any of it going to waste, which also equals a better deal price wise than store bought – pound for pound.
The sauce/marinade comes together easily in a small bowl, you just whisk a few ingredients together. To get more flavor from the Herbs de Provence, I like to crush is in my hand as I add it to the bowl.
Next some of the sauce is poured over the chicken, and you bake the chicken until it’s almost done. Then the asparagus is added towards the end because it cooks quickly.
For a nice browned top, I broiled the chicken for about 10 minutes after adding the asparagus to the pan.
I hope you’ll enjoy this super easy spring inspired dinner as much as we have!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds
- 2 Teaspoons Herbs de Provence
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 2 Teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- ½ Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch of asparagus, 1½ pounds, washed and woody stems removed
- 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the chicken breasts evenly on the baking sheet, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Herb de Provence, olive oil, honey or maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper until combined. Pour half of the mixture over the chicken breasts. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the chicken is almost done, about 20 minutes.
- Toss the remaining Herbs de Provence mixture with the asparagus, and set it aside.
- When the chicken is almost done, remove it from the oven, and set the oven to the broil setting. Place the asparagus around the edges. Pour any of the remaining sauce from the asparagus over the pan. Place a few lemon slices in and around the chicken and asparagus.
- Broil the chicken and asparagus until the asparagus is crisp tender and the chicken golden brown and no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
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