Chicken breasts with asparagus and olive tapenade

Chicken breasts with asparagus and olive tapenade

1 or 2 shallots
6 ounces asparagus
Fresh thyme
Two 6-ounce boneless skin-on chicken breasts
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 lemon
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
Olive tapenade (Kalamata olives – Castelvetrano olives – capers – garlic – olive oil – black pepper)

Prep and cook the vegetables

Peel the shallots and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Separate the slices into rings.
Snap off the woody ends from the asparagus.
Strip the thyme leaves from the stems.
In a medium frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots and asparagus and cook, turning the asparagus occasionally, until the shallots begin to soften and the asparagus is crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
While the shallots and asparagus cook, prepare the chicken and lemon.

Prep and cook the chicken and lemon

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; season generously with salt, pepper, and the sweet smoked paprika.
Juice half the lemon for the olive tapenade; cut the other half into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
In the same pan used for the asparagus, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and the lemon slices and cook until the chicken skin is well browned and the lemon slices begin to char, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the lemon slices to the plate with the asparagus. Turn the chicken and cook until the meat is firm and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a plate.
While the chicken cooks, season the olive tapenade.

Finish the olive tapenade

Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
In a small bowl, stir together the olive tapenade, parsley, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve

Transfer the chicken, lemon slices, and asparagus to individual plates. Garnish with the olive tapenade and serve.

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