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Stupid Easy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

This image courtesy of Todd Coleman

The title of this recipe may not make your mouth water, but the actual dish will. All of us need those dinners that require little thought, little time, and a little collection of on-hand ingredients. I have no compunctions about opening up a jar of good sauce, pouring it over pasta, and calling it dinner . . . but this feels much more like a real meal. Think of the recipe as a template (as with so many of my recipes), and swap ingredients in and out as you like. Check out some of the combos on page 208, and mre importantly, check out what's in your fridge, in season, or on side.
 


Cooking MethodSauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

MealDinner

MoodStressed, Tired

Taste and TextureGarlicky, Herby, Light, Savory

Type of DishPasta

Ingredients

  • Kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 package (1 pound) linguine or other long, thin pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
  • 4 cups (about 4 large stems) small broccoli florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the pasta. Return the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, but stop when it is very al dente, about 2 minutes before it's done. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chicken, oregano, and salt and pepper and sauté until the chicken is just lightly browned on the outside, but not cooked through, about 3 minutes.

  3. Increase the heat to high, add the white wine, and cook and stir until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, and the broccoli florets.

  4. You can continue with the recipe or see the Fork in the Road to amp up the flavor with pesto.

  5. Cover the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the drained almost-cooked pasta to the skillet, as well as the red pepper flakes and butter and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, about 2 minutes; add additional pasta cooking water if the amount of liquid seems too skimpy--you want it a little saucy. Stir in the Parmesan, add additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve, passing additional Parmesan on the side.

Notes

Fork in the Road: Try the ramped-up version with pesto (and/or skip the chicken for a vegetarian dish).

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This recipe looks like it could be one of those dishes that you keep the stuff on hand in case you have company that stays a bit too long. You can always whip up a batch of this and pair it with a fresh salad or some dinner rolls and have a complete meal.

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