Once in a while it just comes together. In my case, its usually by accident, but hey...I take what I can get. I don't remember what inspired this recipe other than the fact that the whole family loves pine nuts, my husband loves asparagus and I wanted to make a quick meal because I'm sure I was tired and worn out. There's something about this flavor combination that really works. I'm not going to try and figure out why....I'm just going to keep making it. :)
First I'll give you the ingredients..and then...I'm going to attempt step by step instructions with (hopefully) helpful photos. We'll see how my first conscious attempt at this whole in depth blog thing works. oook....here goes nothing:
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped. (It doesn't matter how thick or thin or what shape...chunks or strips... whatever works for you.)
6 oz sliced mushrooms (I had buttons but cremini would be even better)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 bunch asparagus (you can do the whole bunch and serve some on the side for that added veggie healthy good for you thing)
Olive oil as needed for sauteing
First....you put a little bit of olive oil in the skillet, heat over medium heat and saute your mushrooms until tender. Ok ok...if you're looking really closely at my picture, I knooow...there are some canned mushrooms in there. I only had like 3 or 4 fresh mushrooms and I needed more, so I resorted to the canned ones. sssssshhhhh...don't tell anyone. I don't usually do that. I swear!! Anyways...remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.
If you need more oil, add it now and heat it up (I think you will need it for the garlic and chicken). Add the garlic and saute for a few seconds. mmmmm....garlic. I have this really cool garlic press that was my mother in laws. Works great and saves time. Can you smell it? Aint no vampires around here!
Add chicken to the garlic and stir. Add salt, pepper and italian seasoning and stir again. Cook chicken over medium heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, steam your asparagus lightly. Don't over do it cuz they'll fall apart and get mushy and we really don't want that now, do we? I mean....we do have all our teeth, right?
Oh...and don't forget to toast your pine nuts. Be very careful here cuz everything will seem fine and then all of a sudden....bam!!! They're done and on their way to burning. So make sure you keep a watchful eye on those little buggers. Oh man.. I could just eat all of those by themselves.
And now for the grand finale! Add the pine nuts and mushrooms to the chicken and stir to combine. Then gently stir in the asparagus....don't make a mess of the asparagus now!
Tonight I served this dish over white rice. I felt bad because I'd been making potatoes so much lately and my husband isn't a huge potato fan. He prefers white rice. I did contemplate making a simple cheese sauce with pasta...but the rice was just fine. Actually it was probably the better choice because it didn't interfere with this wonderful blend of earthy, rich flavors.