chicken broccoli ziti

Ingredients:

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (or other type of chicken meat)
* 1/2 stick butter
* 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
* 1/3 cup flour
* 2 cups of whole milk or half &half
* 2 1/2 cups grated asiago or Parmesan cheese
* 1 lb whole wheat ziti
* 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces (the stems are good too!)

Directions:

1. In a large stockpot, boil a lot of water for the pasta and add a pinch of salt (this brings out the starch in the pasta).

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a chicken in a casserole dish or roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 clove minced garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the chicken in the oven until there is no pink left in the meat and the juices run clear when the chicken is cut, about 20 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and let it cool.

3. Meanwhile, in a heavy small saucepan, heat the butter. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour. Stir well and with a whisk, slowly pour in the milk/half and half. Continue to whisk well. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the cheese, stir until it is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the ziti to the boiling water and boil 7 minutes. Add the broccoli and boil another 3 minutes. Drain the pasta/broccoli and rinse with cold water (this stops it from cooking once you have decided it is done – you decide by tasting!).

5. Put the pasta, chicken, and broccoli in a casserole dish, then pour the cream sauce on top. Sprinkle the top with some more cheese and bake for 25 minutes in a 350 oven or serve right from the dish!

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