They really do, don’t they? Think about how many things, good things, tend to come in threes. Let’s see..there are three primary colors, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Twilight series (for all you crazed fans out there), the three Musketeers, the three wise men, the Chipmunks, the Jonas Brothers (not really, but I like to joke every now and then) and of course, presumably three meals a day, correct? I love the number three and with the Holy Trinity of this dish being chicken, asparagus, and pasta – my unreasonable love for this inanimate number is only reaffirmed. “Why?” You might wonder to yourself. Because three central things: chicken, asparagus, and pasta combined make one hell of a good thing.
Heck, that hell of a good thing brought forth three other good things. One, I got to cook something new. Two, I saved money by eating at home. And voilà! Three, I get to pass on the goodness to you! Don’t worry, you can thank me later and yeah, I’m sure that it’s a total coincidence that your favorite number magically happens to be three now too.
But I must not flatter myself too much here. After all, this masterpiece was created out of necessity, which has been the typical case for me recently. Remember, the oven-fried chicken? The leftover buttermilk in dire need of use before miserably curdling? Case in point. In this case, the beautiful bundle of asparagus hibernating within the cool constraints of my fridge was sadly showing its first signs of aging – wrinkles. I knew that even just one more day would be one too late. I needed to use it before I would have to, dare I say, dispose of it without even releasing them once from the claustrophobic bind of its blue, rubber-elastic bandages? So, I did what any amateur or maybe even professional foodie/cook/hero/heroine would do: I looked up a recipe that called for the ingredients that I already had at home. The results? I could not have been more relieved or proud.
Chicken Asparagus Rotini
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
1 package of rotini pasta
5 tbspns olive oil, divided
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves/thighs, cut into cubes
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 in. pieces
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken and season with salt, pepper. Cook until chicken is cooked through and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to plate of paper towels.
Pour chicken broth into the same skillet. Then stir in asparagus, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover, and steam until the asparagus is tender (I like mine on the softer side, but feel free to steam for less time if you prefer a bit of a crunch), about 10 to 12 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet with some parmesan, and warm through.
Stir chicken mixture into pasta, and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir again, then sprinkle with rest of Parmesan cheese.