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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Skillet Chicken and Broccoli Pasta



Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
adapted, with thanks to Sarah

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces ziti or penne
1 quart stock or water
1 cup stock or water
1.5 lb broccoli, florets and stems
1/2 cup half and half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes, for serving

Method

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to saute until the chicken is almost completely cooked, about 6 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta and stock or water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, about 12 minutes.

Add the broccoli and the remaining 1 cup stock or water. Cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is barely tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to high. Stir in the half and half and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with grated cheese and crushed red pepper.


NOTES

This is kind of a one-pot "pantry meal." I don't have a lot of meals in my arsenal that I think of that way; this is one of the few. It's one I tend to make when I can't figure out what else to put together and I have all the ingredients in my house, which is the majority of the time, as long as I've bought broccoli.

All of that isn't to say it's a throwaway, though - far from it, or I wouldn't be posting it!

This dish is hearty and rich and creamy, yet somehow it doesn't leave you feeling heavy. And it's utterly delicious. This last iteration was the best yet... I may have even licked my bowl when I was done... and the pan before I cleaned it. Maybe.

Well-loved at our dinner table and well worth putting on yours. Promise.

10 comments:

Frank Irwin said...

I do something similar, but I don't cook the pasta in stock. This sounds good!

Melissa said...

Thanks Frank! The original version of this recipe that I started with long ago used a mix of canned broth and water. My take is: if you have homemade chicken stock, which I always do, always use that because, well, why wouldn't you? But if you don't, then hey, use broth and water. :)

Amy said...

I sometimes cook my pasta in stock too. I also cook my rice that way - makes a huge difference.

Sometimes the best creations can come out of the pantry or left-overs. Clearly. Yum.

Melissa said...

Amy, I don't normally. Just for this dish. Rice, on the other hand, heck yeah.

Rachel said...

I just made something very similar...yours looks wonderful! I'm new to your blog and am anxious to take a look around :)

Melissa said...

Rachel - much appreciated. Welcome!

Scott said...

I made this up last night (minus the red pepper flakes, my wife doesn't like spicy food at all) and it was delicious!

Apparently I'm on a mission to make every pasta dish you've ever blogged about. ;)

Melissa said...

Scott, that's awesome! We love this one and still eat it frequently.

I remember you made the rigatoni with bacon and chicken. I hope you're still enjoying that one, too. I'm actually making that on Sunday for my FIL.

So glad you're still coming by and thanks so much for the feedback. :)

Scott said...

Yep, that one and the Caprese Pasta Salad have become regular staples around my kitchen now!

Melissa said...

Love it! I'm making the caprese this weekend. Yum. It's been too long. Thanks again Scott!