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5 Ingredients or Less 15 Minutes While waiting at the car wash, I bought a few cookbooks. It only makes sense that the car wash sells coffee table books about midcentury architecture andlemongrass mood candles along with Little Trees car fresheners, f-bomb birthday cards, and Mallo cups. One car wash in town even has a grill & cafe with a signage reading “100% hand wash hot soups lotto scratchers coffee.” Did you think ewe hand washing next to hand cooking or were you more ouch hands by hot soups?

There is nothing I can’t be convinced I need during the thirty-minutes it takes a machine to remove two months of dirt from my car, and such was the case with celebrity chef Michael Symon’s, 5 in 5 cookbook promising recipes with 5 ingredients made in 5 minutes. Question, ifyou have to say celebrity, is he one?

five ingredients and counting

Five ingredients assumes that you have spices, oils and seasonings on-hand. Garlic chicken and asparagus requires: chicken, asparagus, parsley, lemons & garlic (not pictured but you get the idea). Five minutes is more like two sets of five minutes, but ten minutes is a still a breeze for a very, very good meal.

asparagus, naked on the bottom

We chop, mince, pound, trim, zest and juice ingredients before cooking. Stripping the tough outer layer from the asparagus is not required by the chef because that would take five more minutes, but I highly suggest the effort to give each bite the same toothsome texture. And if you have this tool, you’ll look for any reason to prepare asparagus, just to use it.

one pot wonder

Perhaps the finest feature of this recipe, is that all the cooking happens in one pot. Much like the shop ‘n wash that sold the cookbook, it all happens in one place making it easier for everyone.

garlic chicken & spring asparagus

We love this flash in the pan cook time, but it requires that all your ingredients are prepped before you start. The original recipe called for chicken thighs, which are a more succulent cut than breasts. Water and closed pot cooking method produce ample moisture to ensure that either cut is juicy. I’ve tried both methods. My preference is white meat for its low cal and cholesterol benefits, but if you’re going for pure flavor, thigh meat will not disappoint.

preptime: 15 minutes 4 servings

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (for cooking)
  • 4 4-oz boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or through a garlic press
  • 1 bunch of thick asparagus – trimmed (ends cut off, tough outer layer peeled off of base), cut crosswise into 1″ pieces
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (for finishing)
  1. Prepare your ingredients as indicated above including pound chicken pieces down to 1/4-1/2″.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or pot that can just hold the chicken in a single layer across the bottom, add the first measure of olive oil and heat over medium-high, careful not to let the oil smoke.
  3. While the oil heats, season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. When the oil is hot, place the chicken skin-side down in the pan. Cook until it’s golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  5. Flip the chicken using a metal spatula to not tear the skin.
  6. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Add 1 cup of water and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to release any browned bits (fond) on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Add the asparagus, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender – about 2 minutes is all.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, lemon zest and juice and the remaining olive oil.
  10. Serve immediately.


  • Use garlic from a jar (don’t love that however)
  • Prep all ingredients as do-ahead

recipe adapted from Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 cookbook and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


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