I love getting recipe requests from you guys, I feel like it helps me to be more creative, and it’s definitely required some thinking outside the box at times! Around New Year’s I got a request for a ‘casserole-like dish packed with protein and veggies’, and here it finally is in all it’s spring-y deliciousness!
Seared chicken thighs bake together with veggies and herbs d’ Provence, with a little fresh lemon juice and asparagus added in towards the end of the baking time for crisp-tender spears! The lemon/herbs d’ Provence pairing is a favorite of my husband’s and I’m always looking for ways to create new dishes with it. This dish looks and tastes 100% company worthy, but it’s so easy to make that I’ve found myself putting it on the menu for regular ole weeknights!
I tried 2 different methods with the chicken thighs, and we both preferred them with a good crispy skin! The first time, I simply placed them skin side down in a roasting pan, (like the above picture) and at the end of the cooking time the skin was a very light golden color. The second time, I tried browning them first in a skillet before roasting them with the veggies, and that turned out to be our favorite! If you have a large Dutch oven or a roasting pan that can go from the stove top to the oven you can make this all in one pan. My baking dish isn’t stove top friendly, so I just seared my chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet first.
While the chicken and onions bake, you can prepare the rest of the veggies.
After the chicken is halfway cooked, you scatter the chopped zucchini and sliced mushrooms over the baking dish and line the asparagus spears around the edges. By adding the rest of the veggies in halfway through the cooking time, you’re sure to avoid overcooked asparagus!
The word Primavera means spring in Italian, but I thought calling this recipe Spring Chicken might be just too much of a play on words so I went with some fancy language instead! Primavera is also a traditional preparation for pasta that involves loads of spring veggies, so we’re pretty much right on track with the chicken standing in for pasta today! I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did, and if there’s anything you’d like to see a recipe for be sure to let me know!Print
- 4 chicken thighs, with the bone in and skin on
- 1 red onion, ends cut off and peeled
- 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- 1 Teaspoon herbs d’ Provence
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 small zucchini, weighing 12 ounces
- 8 ounces of crimini mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 pound of asparagus
- Fresh lemon juice to taste for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, when it’s hot, add the chicken thighs skin down and sear both sides to a caramelized brown. Remove the chicken thighs and place them with the nice looking skin side up in a 9″x13″x3″ baking pan. Pour in any chicken fat rendered in the pan, or if there isn’t much, drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of the baking pan. If you have a Dutch oven or large enough skillet you can use the same dish to go from the stove top to the oven.
- Cut the onion in half from the top to the bottom, and place each half flat side down on the cutting board. Slice each onion half into 1/2″ half moons. Separate the onions slightly as you scatter them over the chicken.
- Sprinkle the sea salt, herbs d’ Provence, minced garlic, and lemon zest evenly over the chicken. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes – the timing will depend on the size of your chicken thighs.
- While the chicken cooks, prepare the veggies. Cut the ends from the zucchini and cut them into quarters lengthwise. Next cut across the quartered zucchini to make 1/2″ thick triangular pieces. Slice the mushrooms and trim any tough ends from the asparagus.
- When the chicken is halfway cooked, pull the pan out of the oven and scatter the sliced zucchini and mushrooms evenly in and around the chicken. Arrange the spears of asparagus around the edges of the pan. Place the pan back in the oven and roast until the veggies are just tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Serve the chicken and veggies immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing fresh lemon juice at the table.
I like to use a Microplane grater for a fine textured (non-chewy) lemon zest!