Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Cheddar Grits and Roasted Asparagus

Usually I’m pretty modest (if not critical) when eating my own food, but tonight, I can honestly say that this dinner was something you could easily find in a restaurant — and it’s so basic. I had some chicken breasts staring at me from the fridge (what a conundrum) so I pulled out my trusty 3-ring binder of recipes and looked for something to cook under the “chicken” tab. This binder contains both tried and true recipes, and also new recipes that I want to get to eventually.  I wanted something comforting enough to block out the “order pizza” chant that was in my head since about 3pm today. But, since we’re trying to watch what we eat, I wanted whatever we made for dinner to be fairly healthy and also pretty straightforward. While starches are a bit of a no-no for us right now, these fluffy, creamy, cheesy grits sure are a lot better than a large pizza. This is harm-reduction at its best. Like how I justified that?

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Cheddar Grits and Roasted Asparagus
Just the Tip / Inspired by A Stack of Dishes
Serves 4

Here’s what I used:

For the grits:

  • 3 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 1 cup instant grits
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:

  • olive oil
  • 4 large boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • kosher salt, pepper

For the asparagus:

  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
  • kosher salt, pepper
  • olive oil

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the grits, bring the chicken broth and milk/cream to a boil in a large pot.
  3. Pound the chicken slightly for even cooking. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Preheat a couple of tbsp of oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken on one side for about 5 minutes until deeply browned. Flip, and transfer pan to the oven for 10 minutes, along with the asparagus.
  4. Meanwhile, slowly whisk in the grits into the simmering broth/milk mixture. Stir every couple of minutes until thickened. Season grits with salt and stir in the cheese when you’re ready to serve the chicken.
  5. Once the chicken has reached 160 degrees, remove the breasts to a plate and loosely cover with foil.
  6. Put the skillet back over medium high heat. Add a touch more olive oil if necessary, and toss in the garlic and rosemary and saute for a couple of minutes. Deglaze with the wine, and then add the cornstarch/chicken broth mixture. Bring up to a bubble and let reduce down until it creates a sauce. Once the sauce is at your desired consistency, add the lemon zest and juice and remove from heat. Serve the chicken with the grits and asparagus, and spoon sauce over top.


4 thoughts on “Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Cheddar Grits and Roasted Asparagus

  1. Tricia says:

    Would it taste (almost) as good without the grits?

    I still want pizza….

  2. This looks fabulous. Grits are one of my favorite sides and you’re right this looks like a restaurant entree.

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