One day I wanted to quickly make a nice meal for someone that was sick, but I didn’t have my “normal” stuff around the house. I took stock and invented with this recipe out of what I had on hand. My family loves this rich dish redolent of smoked chicken, garlic, and parmesan! Because parmesan is a gift box item and because the dish has about a zillion calories per serving, we only have it for special occasions. I hope you enjoy it! This serves about 12 people, so you may need to cut it down!
1 stick butter + a few Tbs to sauté
3/4 cup flour
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced (or to taste)
2 lbs smoked chicken breast
2 lbs fresh mushrooms
2 lbs fresh broccoli
1 cup parmesan cheese
3 cups chicken stock
1 qt or more milk
pepper and salt to taste
500 g cooked pasta, cooked al dente.
I decided not to insult your intelligence by showing step by step photos since this is a fairly standard uncomplicated recipe! Here are the major players prepped and ready to begin assembly. On this day I didn’t have fresh mushrooms so used canned. Fresh are better. You can use unsmoked chicken, but it really is the smoked chicken that stars in this entree. If you don’t have smoked chicken but have smoked gouda cheese, you could also add a cup of that grated. A few julienned carrots would brighten it up even more, too. Be flexible- have fun!
Slice and sauté your chicken breasts until slightly brown and set aside.
Slice the mushrooms, sauté in skillet until brown. Set aside.
Cut the broccoli into florets, steam lightly (just until bright green). Set aside.
Melt the stick of butter in your skillet, add garlic, then slowly add the flour until smooth.
Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring to keep smooth. Cook a bit to thicken, then do the same with the milk. You have to be careful to cook this slowly on medium heat. If it boils, the milk may curdle. The only difficult thing about this dish is to take your time making it. Don’t let the anticipation cause you to rush! Trust me, it will be worth your while to cook it slowly.
When the sauce is smooth and thick, stir in the parmesan cheese. Add the mushrooms and chicken as you continue heating. After this has sufficiently warmed with all of these things added, taste for saltiness. Since broth, chicken, and parmesan all have salt, it may not need added salt, but at this point add salt and pepper to taste. I enjoy using fresh black pepper in good quantity, but it’s up to you! If it’s too thick, lighten with more milk and/or broth. If it’s too thin, thicken with a mixture of flour and milk.
At the last minute add the broccoli and heat only until warm. Don’t cook it much because you want a nice bright green crispy tender broccoli to offset the thick, rich sauce! Having the broccoli showing off in your alfredo classifies it as health food and makes you feel better.
I serve the sauce and the noodles in separate bowls and let each person mix it to taste. The noodles absorb the sauce quickly and all the “goodies” tend to go to the bottom of the bowl if you serve them premixed.
Serve it up and dig in! Keep the sides light. Enjoy!
Those bread sticks are a story for another day. Amazing! Hopefully Faith can tell you about those… Yum.