Strangely, after cooking for so many years, I think this was the first time I have ever made chicken, ziti, and broccoli. I think I have put it off because every time I have eaten it (usually at a catered event, not by choice) I have found it extremely oily and bland. However, because so many people seem to love it, I figured it deserved a shot. After all, it is an easy hearty dish that is perfect for reheating individual portions. And it contains broccoli. And chicken. And pasta. Bing, bang, boom–all virtues in my book.
So I gave this a chance, and it is delicious. I hardly ever cook with butter*, but I abided as it is only 2 tablespoons across the entire dish. The sauce is flavorful and a slightly creamy, though not rich. The chicken pieces were tender, moist, and tasty. The dish was by no means oily. I am so happy I tried it out. I think this is a great weeknight and crowd pleasing supper!
*Notice I said cook with butter–I bake with it all of the time!
Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli:
- 1 pound of ziti or rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size pieces and seasoned on all sides with salt and pepper
- 4-8 cloves of garlic, minced (Note–I always use way more garlic than a recipe suggests. Use what is right for your taste.)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons (or up to 3/4 cup) grated cheese (a combination of romano + mozzarella works well)
- 2 cups of broccoli florets
- 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
Boil the ziti.
In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and saute until brown on all sides. Add the garlic and saute lightly. Add the white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
In a separate small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and mix until a sandy consistency. (This is a roux.) Add this flour mixture to the chicken/garlic/liquid. Stir well to avoid lumps. Add the grated cheese and broccoli. Let it cook until the broccoli is tender (not mushy).
Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drain ziti and pour into a 9×13 dish. Pour chicken/broccoli on top and mix carefully.