The cream sauce in this meal is everything. It's so flavorful and nearly effortless. The sauce is tart with lemon and herby from the ingredients that we use when we sear the chicken. This one pot dinner is super easy to make, and it comes together in under an hour. If you have fresh herbs, use them in the sauce, but the additional chopping may put you over that one-hour start-to-finish deadline. If your family turns its nose up at asparagus sub another vegetable here. You could cook broccoli in the sauce like I did here or bake it on the side in the oven. I served this over egg noodles because Jim and my kids love them, but angel hair pasta, red potatoes or mashed potatoes would be perfect alongside this tender chicken.
Olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch evoo)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chicken (I use 3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast but skin-on chicken thighs would be best if your family will eat it)
1 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced into one-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, mustard, thyme, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Using your fingers or a brush, work the mixture onto both sides of the chicken.
Melt equal parts butter and evoo in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and sear for 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate. Drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, scrape the bottom of the pan to release any flavorful bits. Add the heavy cream, lemon juice and basil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet and add asparagus pieces.
Place into oven and roast until thoroughly cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes. Serve over egg noodles.