Monday, April 4, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Gratin

Sometimes you just need comfort food.
For me "comfort food" tends to be dishes
that contain cheese ~ they always make me
feel better. Even though I consider this dish
comfort food it does contain a vegetable that is
very good for you - broccoli.

Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C which helps
fights off the common cold. The potassium in broccoli
helps to lower high blood pressure. This little green
vegetable is also rich in fiber. With all this goodness
I should really make an effort to eat more broccoli.

Chicken and Broccoli Gratin
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
11/2 lb. broccoli
2 leeks
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup panko
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp ground sage
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Cut the broccoli into small florets. Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Don't overcook the broccoli. You want to leave it crunchy because it is going to cook again later. Put the broccoli into an ice bath to cool it down quickly. Then drain.

Sprinkle the thyme, sage, salt and pepper over the chicken. Cook the chicken in a little oil. Remove the chicken from the pan and cut it into bit size pieces. Set aside. Wash, dice and saute the leeks in a little bit of oil.

Melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the leeks and bay leaf and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Add the Gruyère, stirring until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in the broccoli and chicken. Pour this mixture into a baking dish and spread it in an even layer.

In a bowl mix together the panko, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the mixture. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake until the gratin is golden and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoy this fantastic Chicken and Broccoli Gratin.

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