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Chicken Asparagus Casserole

Back at the time that asparagus entered my realm of edibles I found this recipe http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,168,147183-235197,00.html which has brought me to the dinner table very pleased.  When I was walking in the produce section I found my favorite size asparagus (super thin) and grabbed a moderately sized bundle for a mere $2.99 a lb.  My brain fought over the possibilities in which this casserole won (minus 2 dozen spears for my roasted asparagus recipe).  I thought I would share it with you so that I can pin this as a reminder of one more of my favorite dishes that doesn’t currently have a picture to pin.  So with out much ado, here is the recipe as I do it, to check out the original go to the link.

2 lbs chicken breasts (I prefer tenderloins)
3/4 lb of fresh Asparagus
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 c. chicken broth (low sodium if you have it)
1 c. milk
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (sharp is amazing!)
2 tsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared mustard
Salt & pepper to taste (I leave this out and let individuals add it at the table if needed)
Fry the chicken with some season salt. Melt butter and stir in flour.  Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes to “cook” the flour. Add in additional ingredients except the chicken and asparagus into saucepan and heat until cheese melts. (You can substitute the chicken drippings for the butter if you wish.) Lay long asparagus spears in bottom of casserole dish. Place chicken over asparagus and pour sauce over top. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Serve with rice.
This is an amazing meal.  White or brown rice compliments this well.  Even my younger boys love this meal.
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Yummy Asparagus! No longer an oxymoron!

At the ripe old age of 22 I tasted asparagus for the first time.  Yup, I know, what a sad, uncultured and deprived life I led before I was married.  This recipe was put together with my husband and it has delighted us every time we do come across a sale on the beloved, vitamin-filled vegetable.  As a quick mention, I am picky about the thickness of my stalky friend.  The thinner the better (think pencil thin).  The Asparagus that looks like a tree truck is avoided and left in the produce isle all by its lonely, and I don’t feel bad at all to say it.

 

These 5 ingredients added to Asparagus will make your mouth sing!  Kosher salt, pepper, grated Parm, shredded Parm and olive oil.  So the ingredients are ready.  Are you?  Your hands will be your main tool for this next part.

Cut off the lower 1/3 of the stalk. This is the tough fibrous end that is edible but is not enjoyable.

Lay out the asparagus and put on all the ingredients except the shredded Parmesan and distribute evenly.

See what I mean by your hands being your tool?  Messy, but worth the results!  Lay out the Asparagus in a single layer on your jelly roll pan and put into your preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your Asparagus.

This is the almost finished product. The head should be darker, and the stalk should be limp.

Put them on a serving platter and spread the shredded Parmesan.  Try eating just one before it reaches the dinner table.  I dare you!  If you want to, you can also put on the parmesan and let it bake in the oven for a few more minutes, the taste doesn’t change but the cheese may hold better to the Asparagus.  Enjoy your veggies!

Que list of ingredients

1 lb of Asparagus

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

1-2 tsp kosher salt

2-3 tsp grated parmesan

1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2-3 Tbsp Shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Oh Asparagus! How I love thee, let me count the ways!

WHO absolutely LOVES Asparagus?  Raise your hands!  Oh look at all of you!  So exciting to see the many fans of this delectable vegetable!  I myself did not have a clue 5 years ago that this vegetable was so great, then that changed when my sister bought me a bundle which I eventually (after much discussion with the DH) made into a tasty side dish which turned me into my current fanatic state of this odd looking veggie!

So, Asparagus.  As I was debating what was going to make it into my garden it wasn’t hard to make the decision to making this vegetable would be in my garden so I could go out and pick some every Spring and be the happiest woman in the world while doing it.  So I ordered 20 crowns from a reputable company online, it arrived on my doorstep, and it promptly went into my cheese drawer in my fridge to keep cool until planting.  That was about… April.  So what happened is I ran into the instructions on the internet on how to plant said veggie.  It was not a hard process, but it was hard for me to process that I wouldn’t be able to go out and cut me up some fresh from the garden Asparagus for 2 years!  That’s right! Zippo, nada until the spring of 2014.  I saw this as a BIG commitment from my self and the lovely raised bed my DH had built me just for it.

Fast forward 4 months later. I still have the crowns in my cheese drawer, I still have an empty raised bed, I still really love the stuff.  So yesterday I soaked the crowns for several hours and headed out to the corner of the yard.

Asparagus trench I turned my soil (3 parts topsoil to 1 part compost) and dug 2 lovely trenches.   Just like so!

Jersey KnightThen I placed my crowns 6″ apart over a little rounded mound on the bottom of the trench. Like so.

After placing them just so, (they remind me of Octopi sitting in dirt) I covered them in 2 inches of dirt. Approximately anyhow.

Can you see it or is it just me?

Now the waiting is upon me.  When will I get to sample the wonderfully delicious self-grown asparagus?  It looks like a high possibility of picking some up at the store this week!

This is my own fallout version of planting Asparagus.  Many of the people I have spoken to, or read about on the subject recommend at least a foot (12″) between crowns, which I deemed a bit much even though I am an amateur gardener.  I was taught as a child that you make decisions and you have to reap the consequences.  So if I am out in my garden in 3 years replanting my over grown Asparagus because I planted it to close, I will have learned my dear lesson.