Skillet Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli

It's been a busy few weeks. Thankfully, it's been mostly full of fun and spending time with family, but still, I haven't grocery shopped in a week and a half, my husband is on his last pair of clean underwear, and during slow moments at work I daydream about sleep. In fact, I'm writing this post on the way to work, squeezed between two other people on a bus that looks like this:

I work at a cancer research center at a big state university, and the first couple weeks of the fall semester you can always count on the 6:30 AM bus that I ride to be overfilled with enthusiastic university students headed to school. Slowly the numbers start to thin out as students either drop out of their morning classes, start skipping, or drive so they can get an extra half hour of sleep. I know I shouldn't be happy about that kind of behavior from the people who are quite possibly studying to be my accountants and doctors, designing the buildings I work in and teaching my kids, but it's pretty nice to have a seat to yourself on the bus.


Anyway, the craziness at our house has left little time for cooking, which is where lovely 30 minute one-skillet dishes like this one come in very handy. It's a fast, nothing fancy, nothing frilly, great tasting combination of chicken, cheddar cheese, broccoli and rice that is perfect for a weeknight meal. I love that it dirties only one pan and require very little chopping or prep work. I also love that I can easily keep everything to make it on hand so I have a go to meal when I'm shorter on time than usual. It has saved us from eating cereal for dinner more than once, and I'm sure it will again. Since, to be honest, life is always a little crazy at our house.

Skillet Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli

4boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3tablespoons vegetable oil
1onion, minced
cups instant white rice
3garlic cloves, minced
cups low sodium chicken broth
110oz pkg frozen broccoli florets, thawed
(or one large head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets)
1cup shredded cheddar cheese
1teaspoon tabasco

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken well on one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

2. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet, and return to med high heat till shimmering. Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook uintil softened. 5 minutes. Stir in rice and garlic and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits. nestle chicken into rice browned side up. Cover and cook over medium low heat until liquid is absorbed and thickest part of chicken registers 160, about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken to clean plate. Off heat gently fold broccoli, ½ cup cheddar, and tabasco into rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheddar over top, cover, and let sit till cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Serve with chicken.

Yield: Four servings

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated Best 30-Minute Meals

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