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Skillet Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti

I got a new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook for my birthday that supposedly has all of the recipes from the show.  I was excited to try the Skillet Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti recipe because I’m trying to find more dinners that include vegetables that are fairly simple for weeknight dinners.  This was perfect!

I left out the sun dried tomatoes because I am not particularly fond of them.  I would recommend adding more red pepper flakes and definitely tasting for salt.  I ended up adding more of both on my plate at the table, but Brian left his mostly alone.  We also used Parmesan because I prefer it to Asiago.  I used frozen broccoli florets because I’m lazy.  We found that cooking them for 5 minutes with the lid on (the longer side of what the recipe specifies) was enough to get them close to tender, and the final cooking time with the chicken and cream was enough to make them completely tender.  The only drawback to the frozen broccoli was less of the buds and more of the stem of the broccoli.  We also found that cooking the ziti as directed on the box is good.  The recipe specifies 12-15 minutes at a boil, but the box said 9 for al dente.  We followed the box and I’m glad we did.  I think the extra few minutes may have driven the pasta over the line to mushy.

Use a large, deep skillet with a lid.  We used a shallow skillet last night and just barely contained it all.  I believe the recipe says it is 4 servings.  I would consider it a very generous 2 servings or a standard 3 servings.  If you rounded it out with bread and salad it might be 4, but that might defeat my goal of keeping it all simple for 2 people.

My only minor reservation about this was that the sauce didn’t seem very rich, but it is supposed to be a weeknight thing, so I suppose it’s good to keep it moderately healthy and not dump in a bunch more cream and butter.

I will definitely do this one again!

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