Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

***We all have our favorite and delicious go-to meals...this one is definitely a new go-to meal for me. It's simply wonderful! The very best part of it is, it's healthy! I found it in the "Light Recipes" special edition by Cook's Illustrated. I also went one step further by using whole wheat pasta. M'mm, m'mm good!***

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Table salt & ground black pepper
4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 medium onion, minced
1 (8 ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced into 1/4 inch strips
12 medium garlic cloves, minced
5 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced to paste (I left these out!)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled, halved and lengthwise, and sliced into 1/4 inch thick (I used 1 bag frozen broccoli florets)
1 lb. rotini pasta (I used whole wheat pasta)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 ounce Asiago or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (I used mozzarella cheese)

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot for broccoli and pasta.

2. Meanwhile, pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp. of EVOO in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken and cook until browned on first side, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken over. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 1/2 cup water, and cover pan. Continue to cook until thickest part of chicken is no longer pink and registers about 160 degrees on instant read thermometer. Transfer chicken to plate, tent loosely with foil, and set aside. When cool enough to handle, slice chicken on bias into 1/2-inch thick pieces; cover and set aside.

3. Pour off any water left in skillet and add onion, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, pepper flakes, 1 tsp. EVOO, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Return skillet to medium-low heat, cover, and cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and continue to cook, covered, until tomatoes have softened, about 2 minutes. Remove lid and simmer until mixture has thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes; cover and set aside off heat.

4. Stir 1 tbsp. salt and broccoli into boiling water and cook until broccoli is bright green and tender but still crisp in center, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to large paper towel lined plate; set aside to cool. Return water to boil, stir in pasta, and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain pasta and return to pot.

5. Gently stir chicken, broccoli, basil, Asiago, sauce, and remaining 2 tsp. oil into pasta. Cover and let sit off heat until sauce and chicken are hot, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste, divide among 6 individual bowls, serve.

Source: Cook's Illustrated - "Light Recipes" Spring 2008


Anonymous said...

Seriously, I could eat pasta and chicken every night. This looks GREAT too b/c I love a little red pepper in there. Yum!

Colleen said...

I just made this and blogged about it - it was great!