Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese


My whole family loved this recipe, even my child who can be a bit picky.  It was like a delicious creamy broccoli-infused mac and cheese dish.  Some reviewers on the original recipe were complaining that it was too bland, but I didn't feel that way.  I added some Dijon mustard, which I always do for any mac and cheese recipe, and it really ups the flavor.  One could also add a dash of Worcestershire sauce.  And make sure to use sharp cheddar.  Another thing I did was use the meat of a store-bought rotisserie chicken; that's usually pretty flavorful.  This recipe will use 3 pots on the stove, but I think it's worth it.
Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese
adapted from Cooking Classy

9 oz dry sea shell pasta
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded into small bites size pieces (I used the meat from one small rotisserie chicken)
1 large head broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups low-fat milk
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 oz Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (about 1/3 cup)

1.  Boil pasta according to directions listed on package.  Drain well (reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, just in case you want to thin pasta sauce).

2.  Meanwhile, steam the broccoli on the stove top in a steamer basket for 4-8 minutes, or until done to your liking.  Remove from heat and remove lid.

3.  Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, pot melt butter over medium heat then stir in flour. Cook mixture stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking vigorously, slowly add in milk, then season with onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Add Dijon mustard.  Increase heat to medium-high, cook mixture, stirring constantly until it starts to boil and thickens. Remove from heat, add in cheddar and parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add drained pasta and cooked broccoli and chicken and toss to evenly coat. As it sits it will thicken, you can thin it with a few tablespoons pasta water if desired.
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1 comment:

Debbie Carter said...

This looks so good. I bet my mac and cheese loving child would love this!