Recipe of the Week: Chicken Pesto Penne with Broccoli
June 19, 2017
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound penne pasta noodles
- 2 cups small-cut broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or mined
- 1 medium red bell pepper, about 1cup diced
- 2½ cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Cashewmilk Original Unsweetened
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 4 to 5 ounce jar basil pesto
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish if desired
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Trim the chicken thighs of any extra fat and season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts (you may need to cook in batches with the additional tablespoon of olive oil) being sure not to crowd the chicken. Cook on each side for 5 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a platter to rest. Wipe out the skillet and save to cook the creamy sauce in.
- Meanwhile, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil and season generously with kosher salt. Add the pasta noodles and cook according to the package directions or until al dente. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the noodles to a colander to drain and reserve the pasta cooking water in the pasta cooking pot. Add the broccoli to the pasta water and cook for 1 minute, then drain over the pasta noodles and transfer to a large bowl.
- Melt the butter in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the red bell pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the pepper begins to soften. Stir in 2 cups of the almond cashew milk, reserving ½ cup to put in a glass jar fitted with a lid. Raise the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring often, until the milk reduces by one third. Add the flour to the jar containing the remaining ½ cup almond milk, cover with a tight fitting lid, and shake well to combine. Pour into the skillet and stir into the almond milk mixture, then cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Stir the jar of pesto sauce into the cream mixture until well combined, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the pasta noodles and stir to combine.
- Slice the chicken breasts into strips and top over the pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired.