· 10 ounces broccoli
· 8 ounces penne pasta
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1.5 pound chicken breast (1 large chicken breast)
· 4 garlic cloves, minced
· 1 cup heavy cream
· 1 cup milk
· 1 and 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese or monterey jack cheese, shredded
· salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cook broccoli in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain well. Cut into small florets.*
2. Cook pasta al dente, drain.
3. In a large skillet heat olive oil and butter on medium-high heat (until hot but not smoking) and saute chicken breast (seasoned generously with salt and pepper on both sides) for about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the skillet from heat, cover with the lid, and let the chicken rest, off heat, covered, until chicken is no longer pink in the center and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
4. Add minced garlic to the same skillet and cook it in chicken juices and oil remaining in the pan, scraping up the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan, on medium heat for about 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant, making sure to avoid burning. Add cooked and sliced broccoli and mix in with garlic. Remove from the pan.
5. To make the creamy sauce, in the same skillet heat up 1 cup of heavy cream until it boils. Immediately add the cheese and stir until melted and nice and creamy. Reduce heat to medium-low, and slowly, in small portions, add milk, constantly stirring, simmering, until nice and creamy consistency is reached.
6. Add cooked pasta to the creamy sauce, then add broccoli. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Top with sliced, cooked chicken.
*I found that as the broccoli sat after it was boiled, it continued to cook and became too soft. Next time I would either boil it for less time and/or place it in ice water after draining it to stop it from continuing to cook.