It’s been forever, I know. I have been eating, and even traveling a bit (holla, Buffalo!) but somehow have been feeling photographically and culinarily uninspired. So many people do this so much better than me – that kind of thing. But then sometimes, inspiration just smacks you, and you have a camera to hand, and you decide you don’t care, because damn, you have to share this. And so, inspired by this post by the Pioneer Woman, but lacking the necessary steaks, I substituted chicken breasts (don’t go to that link before you’ve finished reading this by the way, you’ll never come back.) This is easy, and ye gods of dairy goodness, is it worth it.
First of all, rinse and trim a medium-sized head of broccoli into small pieces, including the peeled and thinly-sliced stalks. Set aside, keeping the stalk pieces and the fluffy florets separate.
Cut a large onion into chunky rings. Throw into a sauté pan or large skillet in which you’ve heated a decent chunk of unsalted butter. (You heard me. Paula Deen is somewhere nodding her head approvingly over this recipe.) Let the onion soften and start to brown over a medium heat and meanwhile, put a large pan of water on to boil.
Rinse and pat dry two good-sized skinless, boneless chicken breasts, and season on both sides. (A note about quantity – this amount of sauce generously covered two breasts (ahem) but with a little more of a liberal hand on the onions, cream and cheese, it could easily stretch for four. Nobody wants illiberal sauce!) Put the chicken breasts in the pan with the onions and sear quickly on both sides, a couple of minutes each.
Toss 1/4 cup sherry or 1/2 cup white wine into the pan, and let it sizzle and simmer down, scraping up all the little browned morsels of onion.
Throw a box of whole wheat pasta (small chunky shapes of some kind) into the boiling water and salt. Set a steamer or colander over the pasta and throw in the broccoli stems, saving the florets for later as they cook faster.
Turn the heat on the chicken pan down low. Add 1 cup heavy cream (hi Paula!) to the pan, and let it reduce and thicken for a few minutes. Crumble in a generous chunk of blue cheese - Roquefort, Stilton, whatever you like, and stir it into the sauce.
When the pasta is nearly cooked, add the broccoli florets to the steamer and let them cook until just tender.
Drain the pasta and broccoli, and serve topped with the chicken breasts and sauce.
There. Did you miss me?