Iron skillet chicken with fennel, onion, jalapeno and an herb-based sauce drizzled across the top of the chicken. Fresh roasted corn will be added to the skillet after a quick sauté.
It was a rainy Friday and not much to do other than eat. After opening the freezer and seeing the three chicken breasts alongside three hamburger patties; I chose chicken. Most of the ingredients were available in my pantry and refrigerator except the fennel. If you've tried roasted fennel, it's a sweet treat with a bit of a licorice flavor. It's not overpowering and more flavorful than celery.
There's a particular marinade that I make that's a go-to for many of my grilled meats. I decided to add a few more dried herbs to the special marinade to pour directly over the chicken before roasting in the oven.
Most of the ingredients are readily available in cupboards and refrigerators. If you're missing one or two items, you may always improvise. Let's get to it!
3 chicken breasts
3 T. olive oil
A pat of butter
A medium onion
A fennel bulb
3 ears of fresh corn on the cobb
A large jalapeno (seeded and membranes removed)
2 T. lemon juice
Tsp. lemon zest
Tsp. of oregano
1/2 tsp. of dillweed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cloves of garlic (chopped and crushed)
Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts and sear in the iron skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Go ahead and sear both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Make the herb olive oil with the remaining oil (two tablespoons), salt, pepper, 2 T. lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, dillweed, and garlic. Whisk together.
Slice the fennel and onion and chop the jalapeno. Place in the iron skillet. Add the seared chicken breasts. Drizzle the herb olive oil over top the chicken.
Shuck the corn and cut off the cobb. Heat a pat of butter in a small skillet. Add the corn, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté for a couple of minutes. Once sautéed, add the corn to the skillet with the chicken.
Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and place in a 400 degree onion for 30 to 40 minutes. Halfway through the roast, spoon some of the liquid over the chicken. Once chicken reaches 165 degrees, take the skillet out of the oven to sit for 10 minutes. Serve.
Classic Recipes: Chicken Asparagus Extra Cheesy Casserole
During the winter months, casseroles and soups are a mainstay in the kitchen. Outdoor grilling isn't much of an option and let's face it, meals can get boring. Since the pandemic, there's been quite a bit of takeout at our home. Don't get me wrong, having a meal prepared by someone other than myself is nice. But sometimes, it's nicer to stay inside and 'do it yourself'. On those nights, blow the dust off the old recipe box given to you by grandma or mom and find some classic recipes.
I say, go for the 'stick to your ribs' recipes that everybody enjoys. The ones with the baked cheese and the creamy white sauces that are oh so delicious. We're talking 'comfort food'. With the world turned upside down and little relief in sight, we need a break. Let's indulge.
Chicken Asparagus Casserole is one of my Aunt Marge's classic recipes. After sharing tonight's dinner menu with me, I was reminded of Mom's asparagus casserole. I'd forgotten, until tonight, how much I loved her casserole. It was creamy, flavorful, and one of those dishes you couldn't stop eating. Check out the recipe and find some substitutions for those wanting to cut out some salt or stay with fresh ingredients.
Chicken Asparagus Casserole
4-6 deboned chicken breasts
2 (16) ounce cans of whole asparagus drained (you may use fresh...see tip below)
Cup of mayonnaise
2 cans cream of chicken soup (see below for quick homemade soup with less salt)
tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
tsp. cavender's Greek seasoning
1/2 tsp. cumin
Cup of sharp cheddar cheese
Cook chicken breasts in rolling hot water for approximately 30 minutes. After draining chicken, let it cool and cut into cubes. Place chicken in a 9 x 13 dish. Layer the whole asparagus on top of the chicken. Mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and seasonings. Spread over the asparagus. Add the cheese. Cook for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven. If you want the cheese a bit crisper, broil for five minutes or less.
Tip for using fresh asparagus (shared by chef Jeff)
"Simply put on plate, sprits with a bit of your favorite oil & season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic, wrap, and microwave at two minute intervals to desired doneness. Use immediately or place in fridge or freezer for a couple of minutes."
Recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup (double the recipe for the two cans)
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup milk (1 or 2%)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, add flour and whisk together to make a roux (a minute or two). Add the chicken broth and milk, whisk until creamy (no lumps). Add the garlic powder. Salt to taste.
Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until mixture thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat. This will make the equivalent of one can of cream of chicken soup. Double it for this recipe.