Chicken, Broccoli*, & Ziti*

This is my take on the classic Italian-American dish Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti, which I’ve been craving lately for some reason. I changed it up and used whole wheat rigatoni instead of ziti and brussels sprouts leaves instead of broccoli since I’m going through a brussels sprouts thing right now. This was yummy! Tasted eerily like any mac & cheese I’ve ever made, yet there was no cheese….interesting. Anyway, try this! It was yum.

Chicken, Broccoli*, & Ziti*
Serves 4-6
Recipe by Just the Tip

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 pound of chicken tenders, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 pound of whole wheat rigatoni
  • 2 tbsp flour, plus some for dredging
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half
  • whole nutmeg
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • parsley and parmesan cheese, for garnish

Here’s what I did:

  1. Bring a large pot of water up to boil. While waiting for that, remove the core of the brussels sprouts with a sharp paring knife. Separate the leaves and reserve.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, deep-sided saute pan. Dredge the chicken in flour, and then drop it into the saute pan, shaking off excess flour.  Saute until browned on each side, 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Once browned on both sides, remove to a plate.
  4. Once the water comes up to a boil, add a healthy pinch of salt and then add the brussels sprout leaves. Blanch for one minute and then remove with a spider or handheld strainer to another waiting plate or bowl. Bring the water back up to a boil. Once re-boiling, add the pasta and cook to package directions.
  5. Once you drop the pasta, start on the sauce. Over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tbsp butter in the same saute pan that you cooked the chicken in. Grate in the garlic in with a handheld grater and saute for a minute or two. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp flour and whisk through, cooking for about a minute. Whisk in the half and half. Season with salt, pepper, and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Allow to thicken for 5 or so minutes over low heat.
  6. When the pasta is done, add the chicken, brussels leaves, and pasta into the sauce and toss to combine for a minute or so.

  7. Garnish with parmesan and chopped fresh parsley.  Eat while wrapping Christmas presents in your favorite penguin wrapping paper, if desired.
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