I’m very wary of one-pot pasta dishes. A lot of times, I don’t think they turn out very well. Either the pasta is overcooked or it’s under-cooked and all the other ingredients get overcooked. I get anxious and realize – this is not worth it! Even if I have to boil the noodles first, it’s what I know and am comfortable with. BUT it sure is nice when you don’t have to clean another pot. Well, here you go…I got over my anxieties and tried out this one-pot skillet pasta dish. I had a good feeling about it because it’s a Cook’s Country recipe and it’s the same company as Cook’s Illustrated. Why is this important? Because they test their recipes and I know this because I used to be a home recipe tester for them! So I had little doubt that I’d run into problems putting this meal together. Sure enough, it cooked beautifully and since my kids LOVE broccoli this was an easy win. I typically like to cook more complicated and time consuming recipes on the weekends but I made this on a Sunday night after spring break and I was ready to have a little break. As I tell my kids, breaks are only “breaks” for kids as it usually means more work for the parents!
But we had a fun break because my cousin was visiting us and that was the highlight but…sometimes it’s a bummer that they give out report cards on the Friday before spring break. And there are times where it ends up being that there are issues that need to be addressed because of the report cards. Part of me thinks, “It’s spring break! We can get on track after the break is over.” The other part of me thinks, “Nope, no one is going to be rewarded when we have issues that are going on.”
In our family, the kids’ access to screens (tablets, phones, computers, tv) plays a role in what happens in these situations. Luckily, I was able to strike a balance. I didn’t want to punish anyone during their spring break but I also didn’t want to give in to letting them be on more screens when they have so much free time, especially given the report card “situation.” So, thanks to the weather cooperating, I was able to say NO to screens and YES to playing outside with friends for most of the day. I think I’m happy with my decision. Limiting screen time also meant NO to taking them to see Zootopia in the theater, but hey – I gotta stick to my guns. There’s also the matter of punishing both if only one has an issue, but that’s for another day. My general philosophy is that no one is harmed by NOT being in front of a screen. It’s exhausting having to be the executor of some of these hard decisions but in the end, I hope they’ll respect that I was doing my best by trying to create healthy boundaries.
Now on to the truly one-pot recipe!
Skillet Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli
recipe from Cook’s Country
- 1 lb. Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, trimmed and sliced thin
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 C. Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, Chopped fine
- 6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1/2 C. White Wine
- 2 1/2 C. Water
- 2 C. Chicken Broth
- 8 oz. Pasta (Penne, Elbows, Etc.)
- 8 oz. Broccoli florets, cut into 1″ pieces
- Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Season the chicken with Salt & Pepper. Heat 1 Tbs. Olive oil in skillet until very hot.
Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, without turning until chicken is beginning to brown, turn and continue cooking until almost done. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, do the chicken in batches so that the chicken browns nicely.
Add 1 Tbs. Oil to the now empty skillet. Add onion and 1/2 tsp. salt, cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in Garlic, Pepper Flakes and Oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in wine and simmer until nearly evaporated.
Stir in water, chicken broth and pasta. Increase heat and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often until pasta is nearly tender, about 12 minutes.
Stir in Broccoli and cook until oasta and broccoli are tender and sauce has thickened, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in chicken and cooked until warmed through.
Serve with the grated Parmesan Cheese.