Turmeric Black Pepper Chicken with Asparagus

When I saw this dish in the NYT Cooking newsletter, the 15-minute total cook time jumped out at me. How could it not. It will satisfy any stir fry craving but, with a very simple sauce and only two main ingredients, is much simpler to throw together on a weeknight. The recipe notes that substitutions are really easy here, but I found the original recipe to be pretty perfect. Also, I love having another recipe that utilizes turmeric so it doesn’t just sit in the spice cabinet gathering dust.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 c. water with 3 tbsp honey, 3/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together 2 tbsp flour, 1 1/2 tsp turmeric, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1 lb chicken, cubed into bite-sized pieces (I used boneless skinless breasts, but the recipe suggests thighs, which, I admit, would be tender and delish); toss until all chicken is coated in the flour/turmeric mixture. Heat oil in a skillet, add the chicken, and cook until the turmeric is fragrant and the chicken is golden brown (2 – 3 min/side). Add one bunch of asparagus, cut into tiny pieces at an angle, and cook another 1 – 2 min. Add the honey mixture and cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 2 – 3 min. Season with salt and some additional pepper and serve.

I love the black pepper spice as a nice way to add heat (ish) that’s not jalapeƱo or serrano. The spice hits in a totally different place. I served it over rice, but if the chicken was chopped even smaller this would make for a great lettuce wrap.