Breathe life into an old favorite, chicken breast, by quick-roasting it, then ladling a puréed sauce of tahini, lemon juice, and garlic over the top. The Mediterranean sesame paste not only adds body and weight to a quick sauce, but also a nutty, creamy flavor.
Hit two birds with one stone — no pun intended — by cooking some sweet Spring asparagus in the oven along with the chicken. Serve it alongside pasta, potatoes, or brown rice. To have dinner ready in no time, read more.
- 2 lb asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (3 to 4 lb total)
1/3 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
- Put oven racks in middle and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
- Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan. Roast on bottom rack, shaking pan once or twice, until just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning over once, until golden, about 6 minutes total. Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- While chicken roasts, purée tahini, water, lemon juice, sugar, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. (Add more water if sauce is too thick.)
- Serve chicken and asparagus drizzled with some of sauce and with remaining sauce on the side.
Makes 4 servings.
- Poultry, Main Dishes
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