Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

Wow it's been a long time since I've posted. I know I've cooked, but nothing has been noteworthy. I'm surprised I've never posted this pasta dish before. I've kind of been perfecting the sauce though and my technique varies. Here's what I did the other night:

Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

1/2 lb. pasta (can use whole wheat), we prefer small shapes that hold the sauce

florets from 1 bunch broccoli (may use half cauliflower)

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups milk
4 ozs. shredded parmesan

Put on water to cook the pasta, cook until nearly done.

Get chicken started in a skillet with some olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

For the broccoli, there are options. Usually I throw the broccoli in for the last 4 minutes with the pasta. The other night I put it in the skillet with the chicken after the chicken had browned a bit but was still pink in the middle. The chicken and broccoli were all cooked through at nearly the same time. I added a bit of water to add a little steam to help the broccoli along at the end.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until you start smelling it. Add the flour and salt and pepper to taste. After about a minute stir in the milk. Cook until it starts to thicken. Add the cheese. At this point you can probably turn off the sauce and let the cheese melt, stirring once in a while. Add a little nutmeg at the end to round out the flavor.

Once everything is cooked, add the pasta to the skillet with the chicken and broccoli reserving some of the pasta liquid. Add the sauce to the skillet. Stir and let come together for a couple minutes. If it gets too thick, add some of the reserved pasta liquid.

Serve with a salad and you've got a meal. If there are leftovers, add some of the reserved pasta water to the dish when you put it away. The extra liquid with help keep it from getting too dry when reheating.