Thursday, April 10, 2014

Italian Chicken & Broccoli with Gravy

I'm backk! It has been a long (slightly painful) three months, of which I have neglected you. But now I am back and I am here with an easy weeknight dinner option that you are going to love.

As much as it pains me to admit, I have been practically living off junk food and take-out these past few months due to, lets call it, "job restrictions." This means, no cooking, no baking, no nothing! However, there was one little bright light in all of this - I found some very interesting inspiration for the blog in the never ending sea of take-out menus.

This dish here is great because it requires a lot of ingredients you would normally keep on hand (well at least we do in my house - as broccoli is just as much as a staple as salt and pepper!)

To get started you will need the following items to make 4 servings

1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced chicken breast (no skin and no bones)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt & fresh black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp butter
2 large heads of broccoli, keep those stems on nice and long
1/4 lb mozzarella (fresh will work, but Polly-O just melts so nicely and is extra delicious)
4 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken stock
1 hearty pour of your favorite red wine

Start off by 'flouring' the chicken breast. On a plate, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drop each piece of chicken into the mix being sure to coat both sides with the flour mixture. Repeat on all pieces.

In a large skillet (oven-proof is best, as this will make your job easier later on), gently melt your first tablespoon butter, being sure not to brown or burn it. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides and white through the middle, roughly 5 minutes each side (depending on how thick the chicken is). Remove the chicken to a dish and set aside.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Toss in your broccoli (cut long and thin). Cook for 8-10 minutes until broccoli is tender, but not too soft. You want to make sure it still has some bite to it! Once the broccoli is finished, set it to the side in a bowl or dish.

Now lets get back to our skillet because its time to make our gravy. Without cleaning out any of the bits left behind from the chicken, melt the second tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Throw in the minced garlic and let it lightly brown for about a minute, just until fragrant. It is very important here not to let the garlic burn or you could ruin the flavor of your gravy. Once browned, pour in your chicken stock and red wine and bring to a boil. Make sure to stir and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Let boil for 5 minutes or so, until the gravy starts to thicken.

If you can't get the gravy to thicken up, toss in about a teaspoon of flour and quickly stir it into the mixture so that it doesn't 'clump up.'

Once your gravy is in a good place, time to add the chicken back in the skillet. Make a small pile of broccoli on top of each chicken breast and then cover with a slice of cheese. Toss the skillet under the broiler for a minute or two to get the cheese to melt. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

There you have it, a delicious dish that covers off a bunch of your daily food group requirements in one. Plus, not sure if you were keeping track, but we only have to clean 1 pan and 1 pot. Not too bad if you ask me!

Also, as sneak peak, there are going to be some make-overs going on with the blog in the upcoming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out for that! Enjoy!