Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Skillet Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti & Asiago Cheese

We ALL really love this recipe.

This is based on a recipe from the good people at Cooks Illustrated - I am grateful to them for getting my kids to happily eat sundried tomatoes and broccoli!  I've also made this in a huge batch and served it family-style for a dinner party (and got to use my giant Pampered Chef Simple Additions square pasta bowl (it's really big), and it was AWESOME).  If people could have licked the bowl clean, they might have - there was NOTHING left. Try this, and love it:

Chicken, Broccoli, Penne and Asiago Cheese Skillet

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or olive oil - just don't heat that to smoking)
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 oz. ziti or penne (2 /12 cups)
3 c. water
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
3-4 c. broccoli florets
1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, rinsed and chopped coarse (I found mine at the deli in the olive bar - got just enough for the recipe)
1/2 c. heavy cream or half & half
1 oz. grated Asiago cheese (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving (or Parmesan, but Asiago is better)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until chicken is no longer pink and lightly browned around the edges, 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, 2 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.  Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining cup water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, Asiago, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with more grated Asiago if you like.

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