One-pan dish can be elegant dinner

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Here's proof that a one-pan dish can be elegant.

Tarragon is the key flavor, but if you're not a fan of that herb, thyme leaves can be substituted. Because there are so few ingredients, proficient seasoning is key.

Tarragon Chicken With Asparagus

4 servings

Kosher salt

1 pound asparagus spears (tough ends trimmed off), preferably of uniform thickness

1 pound thin-sliced chicken cutlets, preferably 4 large ones

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1/4 teaspoon sugar, or more as needed

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Prepare a large bowl of water and ice. Bring a medium sauté pan or skillet of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus; cook until just tender yet still bright green, 3 to 4 minutes for thin spears, up to 8 minutes for thicker spears. Immediately transfer to the ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain spears and cut each on the diagonal into 11/2-inch pieces.

Season the chicken cutlets lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil and butter in a large, nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cutlets; you might have to do this in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes, until nicely browned, then turn the cutlets over and cook until browned on the second side and just cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium; add sliced onion and stir to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the broth, mustard and sugar; whisk together and bring to a boil, increasing heat as needed. Taste, and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Transfer chicken cutlets and asparagus to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until warmed through. Whisk together wine and cornstarch in a liquid measuring cup, then add to the pan, stirring to form a thickened sauce. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the tarragon. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve hot.Per serving: 240 calories, 29 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar