Last week we had broccoli from the CSA and I just was not in the mood to steam it or roast it. I wanted something new to make. I was getting bored with my go to recipes so out came the cookbooks! I found a recipe in my Cooks Country Cookbook for Chicken, Broccoli and Ziti Casserole (page 259).
I mostly followed the recipe, I changed the cheese from Asiago to Fontina because my store didn’t have Asiago and I wasn’t driving to another store, I increased the amount of cheese from 2 1/2 cups to 4 cups and I used potato bread instead of white bread because I had it on hand. The only other change I made, I didn’t microwave the broccoli like the recipe called for, I added it to my pasta water the last 3 minutes of cooking. Less dishes to wash!
It was super simple to put together and it tasted like a gourmet mac and cheese with chicken and broccoli. I will definitely be making this again, my husband LOVED it. The only down side was the amount of dishes I used for prep but the good news is that I have a dishwasher so really, I can’t complain. I really think this would be a great casserole to take to someone who just had a baby, especially if they have other children. It is really delish and who can resist mac and cheese?
Chicken, Broccoli and Ziti Casserole, adapted from Cooks Country Cookbook
4 Slices of White Bread
8 Cloves of Garlic, Minced (Divided!)
4 Cups of Grated Fontina Cheese
5 T of Butter, 2 of which you melt!
1 lb Ziti Noodles
1 Onion, Diced
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup White Wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
3 Cups Whole Milk
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Diced into Bite Size Pieces
3/4 lb Broccoli, Cut into Florets
Pulse bread, 2 of the minced garlic cloves, 1 cup of cheese and melted butter in a food processor. You are making fresh, seasoned bread crumbs.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil , salt the water, add ziti, cook to package directions. The last three minutes of cooking toss in the broccoli. Drain, set aside.
Wipe pot dry, add remaining butter, cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes, add remaining garlic, cook 1 minute. Stir in the flour, cook 1 minute, add wine and whisk until liquid is evaporated. Slowly whisk in milk and stock, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes. Add chicken, cook 5 minutes. Off the heat add the remaining cheese, stir until melted.
Add pasta and broccoli to sauce. Pour into a 13 x 9 baking dish, top with bread crumbs. Bake 20-25 minutes until brown and bubbly!