Sometimes, some of the best recipes come about by mistake. This was just such a recipe. Picture this: I had decided on spaghetti for dinner. The pasta was cooking away on the stove and the oven was preheating for the garlic bread. I reached into the cabinet for the spaghetti sauce and there was none. Such a rookie mistake, but there I was with spaghetti cooking and no sauce.
I knew I had everything on hand for a cream-based sauce, and they are surprisingly quick and easy. This dish was the result that night, and the entire family loved it.
1/2 8 oz. package pasta
1 lb. grilled chicken breast
1/2 12 oz package of frozen broccoli
1 can petite diced tomatoes
For the sauce:
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk (2 % or whole)
1-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp italian seasoning
1. Cook pasta and frozen broccoli in separate pans. I used spaghetti since that’s what I already had cooking, but I would probably use penne noodles instead when I make this dish intentionally.
2. Grill chicken in a skillet (Cut into one-inch pieces and cook in oiled/buttered skillet over medium heat, approximately 5-7 minutes per side until done and no longer pink.). I highly recommend batch cooking when it comes to grilled chicken, and freezing the extra for a quick meal option.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a 2 quart pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk well. It should be very thick, almost clumpy. If not, add a bit more flour. Cook the butter and flour mixture for about a minute, whisking constantly. Add milk slowly, whisking briskly while pouring. Continue whisking until mixture is very smooth. Add Italian seasoning, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir frequently, cooking approximately 5-10 minutes or until sauce is thickened. If your sauce is overly thick, add more milk a couple tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
4. Combine pasta, broccoli, chicken, sauce, and diced tomato into skillet. Heat through.
5. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.
What have been your best “mistakes” in the kitchen?