I love lemons.
And I want a lemon tree.
I’m trying to find out exactly how small a dwarf lemon tree is. So far, everyone (friends, websites, etc) tells me that a dwarf lemon tree will reach about six feet tall, and if I wanted one in my house, I’d need to dedicate a room solely for the tree. I’m starting to wonder if I really even need a living room…
I use lemons all the time… pretty much on a daily basis…well…almost on a daily basis. Frequently. So, a lemon tree would be so wonderful to have growing in my yard..or in my lemon room (a.k.a. living room)..
What I wanted to hear was that the tree would reach about four feet tall. And that I could keep it in a little pot, bring it outside in the summer, and then bring it back inside during the winter months. Unfortunately, it’s not meant to be.
Unless I move someplace warm…there are no lemon trees in my future.
I don’t like those words.
I don’t like those words at all.
While that’s a real bummer, it’s not the end of the world, because there are lemons always readily available to me whenever I need them. A lemon tree just would have been fun, you know?
I’m not going to give up, and will continue my search for that perfect little lemon tree.
But in the meantime, I’ll continue to use the lemons that I can buy at the store, and that’s ok, because they do exactly what a fresh lemon would do for me… like this Lemon Chicken Linguine.
Despite my fame for posting heavy creamy dishes ( I really don’t eat that way all the time), this dish is definitely on the lighter side…not laden with sauce, but the lemon truly makes up for that! A squeeze of lemon over the chicken at the end gives this such a refreshing taste! And the asparagus? Well, it’s asparagus…it just belongs in this recipe.
This is actually one of the meals that I make often, but I felt like it wasn’t worthy of the blog…maybe “not worthy” is being a little too harsh…maybe I thought it was too easy, a no brainer… because it is a common meal that I make. But just like the Embarrassingly Simple BLT Wedge Salad I posted the other day, I started to think that it’s ok to post ordinary meals that I make for my family. After all, my promise to you was simple, rustic and delish, right from the very beginning. This dish truly fits that bill.
It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s delicious. And everyone loves it. Well, maybe not your pickiest eater, but that’s why you have chicken nuggets stashed away in the freezer, right?
Life is good.. it’s a “Not giving up on the lemon tree, and thinking that I really don’t need a couch…” kind of good…
Lemon Chicken Linguine
For the Chicken:
8 chicken breast tenders
1 cup flour
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
Juice of ½ lemon
½ pound linguine
For the Sauce:
½ cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 lb fresh asparagus tips (save the stalks! Use them for another meal…chop them up in eggs! Make soup! Just don’t toss them!)
2 cups chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup Romano cheese
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh lemon zest for garnish
Fresh parsley for garnish
Fresh ground black pepper
Lemon wedges for garnish
Mix the flour, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne in a medium size shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken breast in the flour mixture until well coated.
(While the chicken is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the linguine per the instructions on the box. )
Pour enough olive oil in a large frying pan to coat the bottom. Sauté the chicken about four minutes on each side, or until fully cooked and golden brown. Right before removing the chicken from the pan, drizzle with the lemon juice (1/2 to 1 full lemon, depending on your lemon preference) Remove the chicken from the pan, and set aside. Save the pan with the oil, you’ll use that for the sauce.
Immediately after taking the chicken from the pan, add the butter, garlic, and shallots. Sauté for about two to three minutes, or until golden. Add the asparagus, and sauté until tender (not mushy, but tender), about three to five minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pan, and set aside. Add the chicken stock and the lemon, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
As soon as the pasta is cooked, transfer it from the water to the pan of sauce with tongs or a wire strainer. Mix the pasta around in the sauce until it is fully coated, and then add the asparagus back to the pan. Add the Romano cheese and parsley, stirring until the pasta is fully coated.
Serve with the chicken and lemon wedge. Garnish with a little more parsley, fresh lemon zest, black pepper.