8 ounces of short pasta
3 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1-2 heads)
3 tablespoons butter
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup flour
1 cup chicken broth, homemade recipe below, or use store-bought
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta. Once the pasta is about 4 minutes from al dente, add the broccoli and cook another 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to baking dish.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and onion. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Mix in the flour and cook for another minute. While mixing, slowly pour in the chicken broth and then milk. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until thickened to gravy consistency.
Remove the skillet from the heat and mix in the chicken, salt, pepper, parmesan, 1/2 cup cheddar, and ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Pour the pasta and broccoli into the baking dish and mix them together. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is lightly golden brown and the sauce bubbles around the edges.
Homemade Chicken Broth
This recipe gives you plenty of chicken and broth for several recipes.
1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken
1 onion, halved across the equator
2 carrots, washed and cut in thirds
2 stalks of celery, washed and cut in thirds
1 head of garlic, cut in half across the equator
1 bay leaf
10 sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
To a large pot add the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and water to cover about 14 cups. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Skim the top of the broth of any impurities that rises to the surface. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer the broth, uncovered, for 1 hour, skimming as needed.
Remove the chicken to a plate. Continue to simmer the broth. Use tongs to handle and shred the meat of the chicken and set it aside for another use. Return the bones and skin to the broth and continue to simmer for an additional hour.
Remove from the heat and strain the broth. Discard the bones and vegetables and allow the broth to cool. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.