Most chicken and broccoli recipes we’ve tried are disappointing messes of dry chicken; overcooked, limp broccoli; and bland, gloppy cheese sauce. For this recipe, we brown the chicken in a skillet before we let it simmer with the sauce to finish cooking. Microwaving the broccoli before combining it with the chicken ensures it will be crisp-tender in the finished dish. A sherry cream sauce finished with Parmesan cheese has just the right hint of complex flavor and classic cheesy appeal.
- Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
Adjust oven rack 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.
Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and onion to now-empty skillet and cook over medium heat until onion is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in broth, cream, and sherry and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to broiler-safe baking dish.
Meanwhile, microwave broccoli, covered, in bowl until slightly softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add broccoli and 1 cup Parmesan to skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour broccoli mixture over chicken. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top and broil until browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.
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