I really enjoyed writing about my adventures in the kitchen the other day and from the feedback I received, it seemed like you all liked it too. Like I mentioned in my post the other day, I am using this series as a place to not only document my favorite easy meals, but also a way to share what I learn in the kitchen with all of the other ladies starting off in the kitchen too. I know there are so many readers of Daily Dose of Prep who live on their own, cook for themselves, and literally have no clue where to start. Trust me, I'm still very new to cooking but as I spend more time in the kitchen I am starting to realize how fun cooking can be, and that I'm not half bad at it.
My mom is a really incredible cook, she always cooked for us and so I never was thrown into the kitchen needing the skills to cook myself full meals on a regular basis. Now as a college student, I have had one too many pizza rolls, and it's time to get my hands into a bowl of raw chicken or over the stovetop and learn how to do this whole "cooking". I never realized how just sitting in the kitchen watching my mom, that I could pick up on small details of her cooking style. How she starts off chicken on the stove and then transfers it to the oven or how she goes about creating an instant sauce when she's running low on ingredients. I'm honestly, pretty excited to get home for break so I can spy on her cooking Thanksgiving dinner and I can take some of her tricks and tips back to school with me to my own kitchen.
The other night, I made myself homemade garlic and herb chicken with pasta and sautéed broccoli. It was delicious and truthfully, I Facetimed my parents once it was finished to show them that if I ever have kids, they won't starve and I'll be able to feed them a proper meal other than frozen pizza. This recipe is a little more labor intensive than the chicken tacos I shared a few days ago but the outcome is so worth it.
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- McCormick GrillMates Garlic, Herb, & Wine marinade pack
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli
- 2 cups of pasta
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Cook Time: 25 minutes
To start off, I started boiling water for the pasta. Pasta takes a little while to get going and truthfully, you can leave it on the stove and let it boil and forget about it and nothing detrimental happens. I added a little bit of oil so the pasta doesn't stick and some salt to flavor the water. Nothing out of the ordinary for pasta.
While the pasta was doing it's thing on the back burner, I started with the chicken. In a nonstick pan, I added a tablespoon of olive oil to and waited for it to heat up. I have an electric stove in my apartment (which I hate, I love gas stoves better!!) but, I turned the heat to medium high heat and let the oil warm. Once I could feel a good amount of heat coming off the pan, I added my cleaned boneless, skinless chicken breast to the pan. To the chicken breast, I sprinkled some of the seasoning from the McCormick GrillMates Garlic, Herb, and Wine package.
These packages of easy marinade are $0.99 at the supermarket and come in so many flavors. I love anything savory so this flavor stuck out to me immediately during my last run to the grocery store. When cooking with these marinades, the packages want for you to mix it with oil and water but to me that's such a waste. Because I'm only cooking for one, I would use much less marinade than the package would make. What I do, it just sprinkle the dry seasoning right on the chicken in the pan. It works exactly the same and I can control the flavors better and reuse the remaining seasoning for the next time I cook. When I flip the chicken, I add another sprinkling of seasoning to the other side. I cook the chicken until both sides are a golden brown. To finish off the cooking process, I wrap the almost-finished chicken in aluminum foil and stick it in the oven at 275° F. By doing this, we keep the flavor and juices in the chicken so the heat from the oven doesn't dry it out. This is a lower temperature because I don't want to burn the chicken or dry it out, I just want finish cooking it through and keep it warm until the pasta and broccoli are finished.
In the same pan the chicken was just in, I start on the garlic butter sauce. This is where a lot of your flavor in the dish will be coming from. This pan it OK to use, even if there was chicken in it. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can definitely use another one. I use the same one because it has some of that chicken flavoring in the pan which will enhance the sauce. First, set your stove to a low heat. You don't want to burn your butter or your garlic. This can be super easy to do, so make sure you keep your eye on this pan! Start off by melting your tablespoons of butter in the pan. Once melted, add your one clove of minced garlic. One clove is plenty for this sauce. The longer it sits in that butter and heats, the more flavor it will release. For more flavor, I sprinkle in a little more of that seasoning from the GrillMates seasoning packet. I don't add too much because it's a strong flavor already but it helps tie the dish all together. Once everything is combined, I'll turn up the heat a little but continue to keep an eye on it stirring constantly to ensure that the sauce doesn't burn.
For the broccoli, I took a cup and a half of frozen broccoli and started it off in the microwave for 3 minutes. I wanted to quicken the cooking process by thawing it first in the microwave. Once thawed, I added it directly to the garlic butter sauce on the stove top. I love seasoned broccoli, it's one of my favorite sides and this recipe achieves some delish seasoned veggies. This would also be good with green beans or brussel sprouts if broccoli isn't your favorite. I allow the broccoli to heat through fully in the sauce and then add the pasta we have boiling on the stove. I mix it around and allow for it to soak up all of the garlic, butter, and herbs for a few minutes while the chicken finishes cooking through.
I left the chicken in the oven for about 10 minutes all while I was cooking the broccoli and pasta. Once finished, I plated the chicken on top of the pasta and veggie mix. I even poured some of the juices from the aluminum foil on top. That sauce is full of delicious flavors and only enhances the dish.
Although it seems as though there were a lot of steps in this recipe, it only takes about 25 minutes to cook. Think about it, you have to cook the chicken on the stove & move it to the oven, boil pasta, thaw broccoli, and make a simple sauce -- nothing you can't handle. I use easy to acquire and easy to keep in your pantry and freezer ingredients so you can meal prep when you go to the store. Frozen broccoli and frozen chicken breasts keep for months if stored properly and seasoning, garlic, and pasta have an incredible shelf life as well. This recipe is a single recipe and is meant to feed one person, however you can easily make it for more people. If you try this recipe out, make sure to email me a picture or leave a comment on how you liked it!
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