Skillet Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
adapted, with thanks to Sarah
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces ziti or penne
1 quart stock or water
1 cup stock or water
1.5 lb broccoli, florets and stems
1/2 cup half and half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes, for serving
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to saute until the chicken is almost completely cooked, about 6 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt to the skillet. 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 stock or water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, about 12 minutes.
Add the broccoli and the remaining 1 cup stock or water. Cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is barely tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
Uncover and return the heat to high. Stir in the half and half 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 with grated cheese and crushed red pepper.
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.