Sunday, October 21, 2007

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Whole Wheat Penne, and Parmesan

This is another one that I modified so much it's almost a different recipe. The basic technique is the same, though, so I'll credit America's Test Kitchen's Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Ziti, and Asiago Cheese (free subscription required) for the inspiration. Basically I just made it with what I had on hand, substituting and/or omitting ingredients as necessary.

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Whole Wheat Penne, and Parmesan
Serves one generously, or two modestly.

One small boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" squares 1/4" thick.
Olive or vegetable oil
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
generous pinch of dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 ounces whole wheat penne, uncooked
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup water, plus more if needed
1 cup broccoli florets
2 T milk
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a small skillet (my 6" worked just fine) over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add the chicken, spread out in skillet, and let cook one minute before stirring. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned and most (not all) of the pink color has disappeared, 2-3 minutes in total. Transfer chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Put another tablespoon or so of oil in the pan, let heat, and add the onion to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, 2-5 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the uncooked pasta and the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Let simmer, stirring frequently to ensure that the pasta cooks evenly, 12-15 minutes, or until the liquid is syrupy and almost entirely absorbed. Add the broccoli and water to the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 3-5 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and almost tender.

Uncover and turn the heat back to high. Stir in the milk, cheese, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices. Continue to cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional cheese for sprinkling and if you like, some crusty bread for mopping up the sauce (I highly recommend this).


Supersaps said...

Mmm, I've never cooked pasta in broth before. I should give it a try.

Anne said...

I hadn't, either. I read the recipe a few times just to make sure that there was no way I could possibly mistake the fact that yes, they wanted me to cook the pasta in the skillet. I was nervous about it, but it turned out well!

Anne said...

ps: I'm sure this would work great without the chicken, if you wanted to make a vegetarian version.

Supersaps said...

lol, thanks! I was actually thinking of making a vegetarian version.