Prep. time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes total (approx. 2 min. for broccoli, 5-10 min. for sauce and chicken, 11-13 min. for pasta)
- 1-2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (or approx. 2-4 cups broccoli florets)
- 8 oz. farfalle, or other small pasta (penne, medium shells, etc.)
- A pat of butter
- Olive oil, enough to lightly coat the bottom of a large pan
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 1/2-1 cup blue cheese (more or less, as desired)
- 1-2 tbsp. dried chives, or more as desired
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cornstarch and water mixture, as needed
In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil, then blanch the broccoli florets (i.e. cook them for about 2-3 minutes in the boiling water). Drain them, then return them to the pot with cold water and some ice cubes (this will help stop them from cooking any further—the last thing you want is mushy broccoli). Add salted water to another medium to large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 11-13 minutes). While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter and olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat and add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook gently until tender and no longer pink in the middle (about 5-10 min.)—toss the garlic in near the end of cooking. While the chicken is cooking, heat the heavy cream over medium high heat in a small pot. Once bubbling, add blue cheese crumbles and stir to combine. If desired, add a little cornstarch-and-water to thicken the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium low. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and return it to the pot, then drain the broccoli and add it to the pasta. Add the chicken and sauce to the mixture, season with salt and pepper, add chives, and toss in an extra handful or two of blue cheese crumbles. Serve hot, with added blue cheese crumbles, as desired.
This dish, though packed with blue cheese, is not overpowering, but rather quite light and flavorful. Broccoli is always delicious in a creamy sauce, especially one with cheese, and chicken adds some much-needed protein. A dash of chives and an extra spoonful of blue cheese crumbles completes the dish.