Monday, June 4, 2012

Chicken Alfredo with Roasted Broccoli

There are two things I love about this recipe.  One is the roasted broccoli.   Roasting completely changes its flavor, and makes the broccoli sweet and nutty.  The other thing I love is that it's quick.  I'd love to make a meal from scratch every night, but that's just not practical.  Taking an occasional short cut, like using jarred sauce, helps to make a tasty and quick dinner that is perfect for a weeknight.

1 bunch of broccoli
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 thin sliced chicken cutlets
1/4 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. alfredo sauce
3/4 lb. short tubular pasta (rigatoni, cavatappi, ziti, etc.)
Zest of one lemon

1.  Preheat the oven to 450F.  Cut the florets off the broccoli.  Peel the stem (yes, it's edible!) and cut it in 1/4 inch slices.  Slice the garlic cloves into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Place broccoli and garlic on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the broccoli and garlic begin to brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

2.  While the broccoli is roasting, bring a pot of large water to a boil.  Add a handful of salt, then cook the past according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

3.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add to skillet.  Cook the chicken, stirring frequently, until browned on both sides, and cooked through.  Place the chicken in a large bowl, return the pan to the heat, and add the chicken broth.  Scrape up any brown bits (fond=flavor!) then add to the bowl with the chicken.

4.  Add the roasted broccoli and garlic to the bowl, then the pasta.  Stir in the alfredo sauce and lemon zest.

5.  Savor your dinner with a glass of wine and enjoy the rest of your evening!

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