Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The following scene plays out all too often in my house:
"What should I cook tonight? Let's see, I have chicken thawed, and that baguette is going to go bad if I don't use it. Spicy barbecue chicken would be great, but no, Cash won't be into the spice. How about chicken, potatoes and peas? Wait. Peas. Brad doesn't eat peas. Do I have a bag of broccoli? I do. Well, that's always welcome on the table. But I don't want steamed broccoli. Again. Ugh. It's time to make dinner and I'm clueless! Time to hit Google."
OK. So maybe I don't actually say all of this out loud (maybe. ahem.) But I do have this conversation with myself pretty often. That's what happens when you stray from previous meal plans and have odds and ends to use up.
This was a lot better than I expected. It's almost like eating a chunky chicken salad, hold the lettuce, but then again I would definitely consider serving this with a bowl of fresh, bright green Romaine lettuce, sprinkled with corn, pecans and maybe some sliced radishes for a kick. Seasoned breadcrumbs and tender, juicy, seasoned chicken breasts are a no-brainer (especially on nights when your brain is already fried) and adding the broccoli is a simple way to add something green (and of course up the nutritional ante of the whole dish!)
This isn't a meal that's going to win any awards, but it is a dish that your family will tuck into after a long day at work and school. Plus, if you're the chef you get to test all the ingredients and trust me, you're going to have a tough time keeping your fingers out of the chicken! For me, dishes like this is what it's all about. Simple ingredients. Flavor. And time around the table with your family. Enjoy!
Savory Chicken and Broccoli
Adapted from About.com
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can chicken broth
Black pepper to taste
1 baguette (I cut my baguette into large croutons and used this recipe to season them.)
1 package frozen broccoli, steamed until bright green
2 large chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, sauteed, and sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray 1.5 quart glass casserole dish and set aside.
2. Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over low heat, then stir in flour, and season with pepper. Remove from heat; add chicken broth gradually, stirring until smooth. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
3. Place croutons in casserole dish. Pour half of the sauce over the croutons. Place broccoli over croutons, then layer chicken over broccoli. Pour remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Makes four large servings or six smaller ones.