Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chicken Con Broccoli

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I need a lightbox-- or to start making dinner earlier in the day so that I can get a decent picture of it! :)
I've yet to find an Olive Garden dish that I didn't love. . . it's one of those places where I can blindly point on the menu and be satisfied every time! My sister forwarded me this recipe years ago for an imitation of one of the Olive Garden's famous dishes. It's been so long since I have been there that I can't even tell you if this one is still on the menu, but the knock-off recipe did not disappoint! There were a few minor changes that I would make in the future. To begin with, the pasta that the recipe calls for (orecchiette) fell victim to my husband's grocery shopping (which I do LOVE him for doing for me while I'm home with our newborn). In place of it, I used medium shells. I do have to say that this worked out well, as it trapped more of the sauce in each delicious bite. I did go ahead and partially cook the broccoli before adding it to the pasta-- I was afraid it would be too 'raw' if I didn't do so. Giving it just a few minutes really worked well and gave it a nice bite. You would have to be careful, though. If it were to overcook, it would fall apart in the pasta or be too mushy. This time around, I cut the chicken breasts into slices. The next time I would definitely cut into bite-sized pieces. One final change, I did add some parmesan cheese to the sauce while it was thickening. This gave the sauce a little extra kick and definitely was a positive addition.
Chicken Con Broccoli
1 pound chicken breasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces orecchiette pasta (I used about 8 ounces)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup broccoli florets
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (plus additional for sprinkling as garnish)
Spice Mixture:
1-2 teaspoons dried basil, parsley, and rosemary
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients from spice mixture. Rub onto the cleaned chicken breasts. Cook the chicken in the olive oil until cooked through and browned on both sides. Set aside. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until it is almost done. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Stir the butter and garlic in the saute pan, cooking until the garlic carmelizes. Add the cream and cornstarch at medium heat and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the parmesan cheese and mix well. Add the sauce to the pasta, along with the chicken and broccoli. Simmer until the pasta is done and remove from the heat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
Source: Adapted from That's My Home


  1. Seriously, your pictures are wonderful-stop being so hard on yourself! OK, this dish looks delicious. You continue to prepare fantastic dishes that I feel compelled to add to our menu. Yummy, I think the kids would like this one too especially with the pasta and creamy sauce. :o)

  2. This is Marcus' all time favorite--he orders it EVERY time at Olive Garden! He'll be so excited--I'll have to add it to my menu for this week!

  3. This is my FAVORITE Olive Garden dish! I found your blog through SITS and am loving all of your great recipes!! I just made an easy Alfredo sauce that tasted pretty close to the Olive Garden, and I'd added chicken and broccoli to make me think I was eating Chicken con Broccoli! ;-)

    I'd like to try that Beijing Beef recipe you posted! Mmmm!! Becoming a follower!