Yes, today is my birthday. I'm an April Fool's baby. And, trust me, I've heard all the puns and jokes about being born on this day. The best part of celebrating my birthday on April 1st is that my kids are always enjoying Spring Break on this day. This morning I awoke only to be told to go back to bed and was served a warm bagel and grapes in bed. Very thoughtful and much appreciated! I can't wait to see what the rest of the day has in store. I didn't want today to go by without sharing an amazing new dish I recently discovered on one of my favorite blogs. Enjoy!
I love pasta! I love anything pasta! As a mother, I love the diversity of pasta. I love that I can add vegetables and meats into a cheesy sauce and the kids are more apt to eat what I've prepared. As a cook, I love the simplicity a pasta dish offers. When I found this recipe on Melanie's fantastic blog, I immediately worked it into the following week's menu.
This entire meal is prepared in one skillet and comes together fairly quickly and simply. Most of the ingredients called for in this recipe are staples in our home except for the sun dried tomatoes (which are quickly becoming a favorite of mine). The water, broth, cream and parmesan cheese create a fantastic, creamy white sauce that is flavored with the sauted onion and garlic. This dish was a huge success with my family and was wonderful heated up for lunch the next several days.
From the heart of my kitchen to yours may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!
Skillet Chicken Pasta With Broccoli
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti (I used penne pasta and actually added 16 oz.)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets 1
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago was the cheese in the original recipe and can be interchanged)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick 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, 1 to 2 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, 3 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, stirring occasionally.
Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.
Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, parmesan, 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 parmesan at the table, if desired.
Source: Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe