It's time to kick it up a notch on pasta night. This simple chicken & broccoli penne pasta with a garlic white wine sauce is just what you need to feed you and your loved ones. This is a gourmet. Leftovers reheat well too!
- 12 chicken tenderloins
- 4 cups of chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil, more if you want
- 3/4 box penne pasta
- 2/3 cup parmesan shaker cheese
- Fresh grated parmesan for topping, as needed
- Salt & pepper
Flour dredge for chicken
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For cooking the chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the sauce
- 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 cup white wine (any kind)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Chop your broccoli and put in a pot with a steamer insert if you have one (see video). Set aside on stove burner. It only takes about 10 minutes to steam the broccoli (start to finish) so plan your time. Once the chicken is finished cooking, turn on the broccoli and it should be perfect by the time you mix everything in the bowl.
- Fill your pasta pot with water and salt (a teaspoon or so) and keep it on low to medium heat to bring to a boil.
- Finely dice all your garlic.
- Cut all the chicken tenderloins in half. For this dish, I prefer larger pieces so I cut each tenderloin into two pieces. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces on both sides.
- Flour dredge for chicken. Mix flour, garlic powder and salt on a plate. Coat all the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and put on a sheet pan or plate.
- Cooking the chicken. Put olive oil and butter in a pan and melt. Place the chicken in pan and then DON’T TOUCH IT. Brown the chicken on both sides on medium heat. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. I did this in two batches. If you crowd the pan with too much chicken it can create moisture and the chicken won’t brown. Put chicken on a clean plate or sheet pan when finished. Leave any brown bits and juices in the pan.
- Your water should be boiling by now. Put pasta in and give it stir. Let it cook per box instructions.
- Turn on the broccoli (high heat) and let it steam while you’re making the sauce.
- For the sauce. Add a splash of olive oil to the pan and cook the garlic (low to medium heat) until it’s fragrant – a minute or two. Add the white wine and chicken broth. Turn heat up to medium-high so the sauce is at a low boil. Give it a stir. Turn heat to medium and let sauce reduce slightly for about 5 minutes. It should be at a slight boil while this is happening.
- Add chicken to the pan including any juices on the plate or sheet pan. Add butter and let melt. Stir.The flour from the chicken and the butter together will help thicken the sauce a little. This is more of a brothy sauce but it will thicken slightly. Let cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Then turn heat off and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
- While the chicken sits a couple of minutes: stack, roll and slice your basil.
- All components should be ready. You need a big mixing bowl for this. Drain your pasta and add it to the bowl. Add broccoli and chicken and sauce to the bowl. Give it good mix to coat everything in the sauce. Add basil and mix again. Add parmesan shaker cheese and mix again. If you want more shaker cheese than the recipe calls for – go for it.
- Serve immediately. I like freshly grated parmesan cheese as the final touch! You could save some basil too and add more to your plate if you like. It’s fantastic.
- The sauce is enough to generously coat all the pasta, chicken and broccoli and give it a fantastic flavor. If you want it saucier with enough to dip bread in, double the wine and chicken broth, let it reduce a little longer (maybe 3-5 more minutes). Once you add the chicken, you may need to add a bit more butter here (a tablespoon or two more).