One-Pot Wonders

One-Pan Chicken With Asparagus, Almonds & Miso Butter

May  7, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Ali Slagle.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This simple yet boldly flavored dinner celebrates spring in all its glory. It brings together mustardy bronzed chicken thighs, verdant crisp-tender asparagus, and a lightning-fast pan sauce that’s enriched with butter and miso—all in one skillet. Toasty, crunchy almonds crown the whole dish, much like the French style of serving various green vegetables and fish amandine (or "almondine," as it's commonly spelled in the U.S.). Served with couscous, pasta, or rice to soak up the velvety sauce, the whole thing ends up feeling special and a little fancy despite its ease of preparation—the type of meal that effortlessly goes from weeknight standby to weekend get-together.

A few notes: This recipe is versatile in the amount of asparagus you use. I like loading up and using two bunches (or about two pounds) when I make this for my family, but one bunch is totally fine.

It’s also good without the chicken! For a vegetarian version, begin with Step 4, starting with a little more fat in the pan for sautéing the red onion and asparagus, then adding more miso (about a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, tasting as you go) to the sauce to boost its umami.

Test Kitchen Notes

It's the end of the long workday (or the start of an extra-long week) and we're hungry. Like, "can't-think-straight" hungry. Luckily, Food52 contributor EmilyC wants to do all the thinking for us. In Dinner's Ready, her twice-a-month column on weeknight wonders, Emily shares simple, flavor-packed recipes that'll have a good meal on the table in no time. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt plus freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sliced untoasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large red onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces on the diagonal (see author note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon miso (I use white, but any variety will work)
  • 1/3 cup rosé, dry white wine, or dry vermouth (or substitute 1/4 cup chicken broth plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • A big handful of tarragon leaves, basil, or chopped parsley, for serving
  • Couscous, pasta, or rice, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken thighs, mustard, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well with your hands, smearing the mustard and seasonings evenly over both sides. Set aside.
  2. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds, and toast them for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan several times, until they’re light brown and nutty in aroma. Pour them onto a plate or bowl and set aside, wiping the skillet clean, if needed.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until browned on the first side, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Tip: A splatter screen or fry guard works well to minimize mess.) Flip; continue cooking until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes longer, or until 165F in the thickest parts. Turn down the heat if the fond on the bottom of the pan starts to burn. Transfer the thighs to a plate and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
  4. Add the red onions to the skillet. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper, and saute for about 4 minutes over medium heat, scraping up the fond.
  5. Add the asparagus, garlic, and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, or until the asparagus is bright green and starting to soften (the time will depend on the thickness of your asparagus). Add the rosé and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 minute) then add the miso and 1 tablespoon butter, stirring until they’re completely dissolved and integrated. Add 1/2 cup water, stirring to form a nice sauce, and return chicken thighs to the skillet, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Simmer until the sauce slightly thickens and the chicken is just warmed through. Adjust acidity and seasoning with lemon juice and salt, to taste. Top with a handful of tarragon leaves and the toasted almonds. Serve warm over couscous, pasta, or rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jaxmccaff
  • FrugalCat
  • Renea Nielsen
    Renea Nielsen
  • MaryGehling
  • meganvt01

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

14 Reviews

msandibean March 21, 2023
Highly recommend serving this on top of garlic mashed potatoes!
BrooklynBabette March 6, 2023
Sorry, no. Chicken and asparagus just don't belong together. There is a reason why there are no or few recipes for this combination. A green bean substitution as someone suggested would be good. Or put potatoes in with chicken dish and steam your asparagus separately. Not everything can be a one pan meal.
MB M. March 7, 2023
Don't knock it until you try it. It was delicious!! I think asparagus on the whole is under appreciated and under utilized.
MB M. February 24, 2023
Made this last night, as written, with the exception of subbing a yellow onion for the red one. It was delicious, will definitely make again. Flavors really meld together well. Served with baked potatoes.
Jaxmccaff April 4, 2022
Made this last night and it was a hit! Easy and delicious flavours. I served with over roasted potatoes. This will be in our regular rotation.
EmilyC April 4, 2022
Yay, so glad you made and liked it! Thanks for your note!
FrugalCat January 10, 2022
Made this with green beans instead of asparagus. Certainly making it again, and soon!
EmilyC January 11, 2022
Great substitution! Thanks for trying this FrugalCat -- glad you liked it!
Renea N. May 18, 2021
We made this last night and instantly decided to move into the "make again" category. I served with orzo, which was quite nice.
EmilyC May 19, 2021
Wonderful, the ultimate 'seal of approval' for any recipe! : ) Thanks Renea for your note!
MaryGehling May 11, 2021
I made this exactly as written and absolutely loved it. We opted to use vermouth for the wine and paired it with Basmati rice. The pan sauce turns everything into something really special, while being so easy to prepare. We filed it away in our Favorites to make it on a regular basis. Great flavors!
EmilyC May 11, 2021
Yay, so glad you liked this, Mary. Thanks for trying it and sharing your notes here, too -- appreciate it!
meganvt01 May 6, 2021
Love this! Will be making this weekend.
EmilyC May 6, 2021
Aw thanks Megan! Hope you enjoy it...please let me know how it goes in your kitchen. : )