This is one of my absolute favorite dishes! I love everything about it, unfortunately, Olive Garden is a restaurant that I just cannot dine at anymore. Well, besides the fact that there isn't one anywhere near me, I always eat way too much there. To the point that I feel really gross after. This recipe is as close as I could get to the real thing, and for some reason I don't feel so stuffed that I am going to explode. Maybe it has something to do with the elusive breadsticks, or the soup, or the salad...you get the point.
So for this recipe, I roasted the broccoli instead of steaming it, and I pounded the chicken so it is nice and tender and juicy. Yum! I think these little insider secrets are the trick to making my Chicken Con Broccoli stand up next to Olive Garden's recipe.
Here is what you will need to make your own. (Serves 4)
2 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces
1/2 Box Orichetti Pasta
1/2 Pint Whipping Cream
2 T. Butter
1 teaspoon Garlic, crushed
2 teashppns Cornstarch
3 C. Broccoli
Salt and Pepper
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
3 T. Italian Seasoning
1 t. Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder
1 T. Fresh lemon zest
Ok, so there are kind of a lot of steps but this is actually a pretty quick meal, because you can do everything at once in different pans.
First, get your water boiling for your Pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions, usually about 11 minutes.
While that is going, Roast the Broccoli. Here's How:
Preheat your over to 425 degrees. Cut up the broccoli into medium size pieces. Coat the broccoli with 1 or 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, just enough to coat, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
Roast the Broccoli for 20 minutes, until it is tender crisp. I could eat that for lunch alone. It is so good!
While the broccoli is roasting and the pasta is cooking, let's get the chicken going. First, take 2 large chicken breasts and slice them in half lengthwise so you come out with 4 split chicken pieces. Then pound the chicken between plastic wrap with the flat slice of the mallet. Don't beat it up too much, just a little wake up call is all it needs.
Then you sprinkle your chicken in the spice mixture which consists of 3 Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Granulated Garlic a little salt and pepper.
Heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and brown the chicken on both sides, cooking until it is no longer pink. About 11 minutes total.
Remove the chicken and keep it warm with some foil.
ALmost done, now you just have to make the sauce. In the same pan that the chichen cooked in, heat up 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 cloves of mashed garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 pint of whipping cream and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Mix that around a little so that the sauce is well incorperated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now, take the broccoli out of the oven and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest. this really makes the broccoli pop.
Drain the Pasta.
Add the Pasta and the Broccoli to your sauce mixture and top with a chicken piece, and of course, freshly grated parmesan.
This recipe really does taste better than Olive Garden's, but maybe I am just biased. Whatever, I don't care because it's Dinnertime!
Check out my blog at www.theviewfrom8600ft.com for step by step instructions to this and many other recipes