This was a big hit with my hubby Glenn. Another chicken dish…with asparagus this time — 2 ingredients that’s present in my freezer all year round. Extra asparagus always end up being blanched, shocked in icy cold water, placed in freezer bags and then finally stored in the freezer. A different kind of chicken dish (got this idea from a recipe featured in Taste of Home) that is really a great make ahead chicken dish…one that you can pop in the oven and bake for less than 30 minutes. Very creamy-rich and truly satisfying…we enjoyed this dish last night while watching the first episode of my favorite reality show Big Brother (omg, look who’s back…Evil Dick, Brendon and crazy Rachel).
CHICKEN ASPARAGUS BAKE
1 lb fresh asparagus, washed, woody ends removed and halved
1 pack cut-up chicken pieces
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Castelvetrano buttery olives (or use pimiento-stuffed olives)
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
grated medium cheddar cheese
Partially blanch halved asparagus (you may use microwaveable vegetable steamer) and transfer to a greased rectangular glass dish. Set aside.
Season chicken pieces (breasts, legs, wings, etc) with salt and pepper. Brown in hot oil on both sides. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for about 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Arrange these baked chicken pieces over asparagus. Add olives. Set aside or you may want to refrigerate first if not baking right away.
In a small mixing bowl, combine together cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Spoon this mixture all over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake covered at 375 F until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Yield; 4 servings