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
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces ziti or penne
3 1/2 cups + 3/4 cup chicken stock
Fresh broccoli florets and stems cut from a 1-pound bunch
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Method

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and 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 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.


Add the broccoli and the remaining 3/4 cup chicken stock. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to high. Stir in the cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 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, passing more grated cheese and crushed red pepper at the table, if desired.


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.