This recipe is a meal in a pan. It includes asparagus, which is in season, meaning it's plentiful and inexpensive
Tarragon is the key flavor, but if you're not a fan of that herb, thyme leaves can be substituted. Because there are so few ingredients, proficient seasoning is key.
TARRAGON CHICKEN WITH ASPARAGUS
1 pound asparagus spears (tough ends trimmed off), preferably of uniform thickness
1 pound thin-sliced chicken cutlets, preferably 4 large ones
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar, or more as needed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Prepare a large bowl of water and ice.
Bring a medium saute pan or skillet of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus; cook until the asparagus is just tender yet still bright green, 3 to 4 minutes for thin spears, up to 8 minutes for thicker spears. Immediately transfer to the ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain the spears and cut each on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Season the chicken cutlets lightly with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a large, nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cutlets; you might have to do this in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes, until nicely browned, then turn the cutlets over and cook until browned on the second side and just cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium; add the sliced onion and stir to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes, until slightly softened.
Add the broth, mustard and sugar; whisk everything together and bring to a boil, increasing as needed. Taste, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chicken cutlets and asparagus pieces to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until warmed through.
Whisk together the wine and cornstarch in a liquid measuring cup, then add to the pan, stirring to form a slightly thickened sauce. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the tarragon.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve hot.
Nutrition per serving: 240 calories, 29 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar