Monday, June 4, 2012

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Provencal

Stop the presses! The Hubbs made a monumental change in his very ordered, totally predictable list of food preferences! Yes, folks... you heard it here first. After a couple of years, several months and at least a few days of declaring my Pork Chops Pizziola to be his most favorite meal in the whole wide world, my very critical (and brutally honest) taste-tester and all around bestest boyfriend of all time, said that this recently concocted chicken recipe, might very well be his new favorite! Jeepers! I've gotta admit that I'm seriously floored.

Now, that being said, he also made it quite clear that this does not mean that he has forgotten about the chops or that I should ever stop making them for him. It just means that I can also whip this dish up for supper any old time that I'd like to and he'll never complain. He even alluded to the possibility that it wouldn't be a bad thing if I made it twice in the same week. Can I just say... Wow? If you knew him, you'd understand. This new declaration borders on.... well, epic.

OK. Now that I've pulled myself up off the floor, I suppose I should get on with the recipe, eh?  Psssst... Don't tell anyone, OK? But the real beauty in this for me, is that it's so ridiculously easy to make. Oh yeah, and it's really quick too. The whole idea of chicken and asparagus with the tomatoes, olives, garlic and lemon, just sort of said Provence to me. And when all was said and done, I was really quite pleased with the results. Umm, did I mention that Hubbs loved it? Yeah...

I had the butter in this photo, because I was originally going to pan saute the asparagus, but Hubbs said he'd just throw it on the grill with the chicken. Yup, he's kinda brilliant like that. ;~) 

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Provencal
  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus Spears, rinsed and trimmed
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lg Lemon, juice and zest, divided
  • Assorted Olives, pitted and quartered (I used jumbo green and kalamata)
  • 5-6 Cocktail or 8-10 Lg Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Lg Scallions, thinly sliced
  • Fresh Parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

I made up a quick marinade and used it for both the chicken and the asparagus. It consists of about 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, sliced quite thinly, 2 Tbls of dry vermouth, (a dry white wine works just as well) the juice of 1/2 lemon and a generous pinch of kosher salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Place the chicken breasts into a zip-top bag and pour 2/3 of the marinade into the bag. Close the top and work the marinade all around the chicken and place it in the fridge until you're ready to grill.

I have a little trick for getting the most flavor and tenderness into chicken, beef and pork. It makes a definite difference and it's perfect for those times when I don't have several hours to marinate. Just take the point of a sharp paring knife and poke it into the meat several times on both sides. When Hubbs found out that I do this to even more expensive cuts of meat, he just about had a heart attack. But after tasting the results that it gives many times now, he's had to admit that it really works. (restaurant chefs have used this method for years, but they usually use a fancy little gadget with dozens of tiny, razor sharp blades that are spring loaded into a sort of knob shaped handle)

Pour the remaining 1/3 of the marinade over your trimmed asparagus and toss it so that all of the spears are well coated. Set that aside too, until you're ready to grill.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup of olive oil, the juice and zest of the other half of the lemon, the sliced scallions, chopped parsley, 2-3 thinly sliced cloves of garlic and a generous amount of salt & pepper and mix it well. Toss in the quartered olives and tomatoes and give it a gentle stir. Set this aside at room temperature, until the chicken and asparagus are ready.

Grill the chicken and asparagus over a medium high flame, until the chicken is no longer pink and the asparagus is still slightly crisp but nicely caramelized.

Plate up the chicken and asparagus and spoon the olive and tomato mixture over both of them, making sure to get plenty of the sauce as well. I wished I'd had some crusty bread to mop up the sauce on the plate, but I'll be sure to have some the next time I make this. (which might just be very soon, if the Hubbs has any say in it. :~)



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Yay! I just found out that my Apple Pecan Chicken Salad was featured at last week's (5/31) Fridays Unfolded party, hosted by the wonderful Alison at Nancherrow!

**I don't think that Alison hosts the link-up party anymore, but she is one heck of a great lady and she authors an equally great blog, so please stop on by and give her some blog love! She writes about everything from homeschooling and blogging to photography and family, with great recipes, a little fashion, the books that she reads and her tips and tricks about home decor thrown into the mix. (and that's just a small sampling of the things that she's passionate about!) I think you'll become a fan from the moment you arrive! And I should know... because it happened to me!


  1. Alright. That is what I am making for dinner w/Bud tomorrow night. Delish, healthy, and simple. Thanks for the recipe! Everything you make always looks so darn good!

  2. Oh Mary, I think your hubb is right on! This looks like such a wonderful arrangement of foods and flavors! I just love food with lots of colors and veggies! This is perfect!

  3. I'm a new linky follower from a blog hop, it would be great if you stopped on by and followed me at

  4. Oh my! This made my mouth water!!! Looks soooo good! :^) patsy

  5. Gorgeous presentation. Now, all I need is a nice glass of MERLOT. X

  6. This recipe looks wonderful. It's right up my alley with all the simple, fresh ingredients. Add the grill and it's a winner! The olives put it over the top for me. I'll be trying it soon.

  7. That looks delicious! Wow - great recipe and beautiful photos. You should be a photographer for a food magazine! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. I have GOT to stop visiting you before lunch! Though, really, it doesn't matter - I just get hungry all over again even if I visit after eating ... :)

  9. Thanks so much everyone! Sorry I haven't had the chance to reply to each comment. It's been the craziest start to Summer that I've experienced in years. Phew! I SO appreciate all of you taking the time to say such nice things about my recipes and photos. I'll be around to visit everyone in the next few days. Hope you all have an awesome weekend! ~Mary XOXO

  10. This is amazing, I am going to have to try this!! Thanks for sharing and I am a new follower!!
    Hope you have a great weekend!!

  11. Yum! You should write an E cook book!!! Thanks so much for sharing at Toot Your Horn Tuesday :)

  12. This looks absolutely delicious! I make a similar dish but next time I will have to add the asparagus too, that sounds wonderful!


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