One Skillet Chicken Thighs with Asparagus and Peas

New Recipe: One Skillet Chicken Thighs With Asparagus And Peas

Welcome spring with this fresh new recipe! It's light, healthy, and comes together in just 35 minutes in one pan. And, oh, yeah ... bacon.

My favorite weeknight dinner recipes are the ones that take very little time and effort, are hard to mess up, but still feel like something you could serve to company. Things like chicken saltimbocca, garlic-butter shrimp, or a simple New York strip steak seared off in my cast iron skillet. And now, this.

There are a couple of reasons I love this chicken recipe from recipe developer Brittany Conerly. To begin, there's minimal prep time needed: Just preheat the oven, dice up some bacon and shallots, pat some boneless skinless chicken thighs dry and start cooking. I also love how healthy it is, despite how many times I will mention the word "bacon" in the next couple of paragraphs. A mere two slices of bacon add a ton of flavor, while boneless, skinless chicken thighs offer all the flavor of juicy dark meat, with half the calories of a bone-in, skin-on thigh. And then there are all those bright green spring veggies... Couple fresh flavors with a short cooking time, and you've got a winning main course in my book.

Your skillet meal starts off by cooking the bacon over medium-high heat, leaving flavorful rendered bacon fat that you'll use to sauté the rest of the ingredients and flavor the sauce. (And your house will smell like bacon for the next few hours, which is never a bad thing.)

After the bacon is removed to a paper towel to drain, the chicken thighs are next up in the pan, where they take a quick dip in the bacon fat until golden brown. The chicken then gets set aside, the temperature turned down to medium heat, and the shallots are ready for their turn. They only need a minute or two to cook, and then you're ready to deglaze the pan. Wait, what? Not to worry: Deglazing is just a fancy term for pouring some liquid in the warm pan and using it to dissolve the cooked on bits in the bottom of the pan — they add an incredible amount of flavor to your sauce. In this case, you'll use white wine, although you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer to cook without alcohol.

Once you've scraped up all the flavor bits, whisk in a bit of dijon mustard, and then it's time for a big party in the pan! In goes the bacon, in go asparagus and peas, in goes the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring it to a boil, put the chicken back in, and put the whole pan right into the oven to finish cooking.

If you like, at this point you can make a pot of egg noodles or rice pilaf to serve on the side — or simply kick back with a glass of that white wine, take in the sweet smell of slow-cooking bacon, and think about how you'll only have one pan to wash after enjoying your gourmet chicken dinner.

Photo and recipe by Brittany Conerly.