Yields: 4 servings
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (see note)
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 c. chicken stock, sodium free
1 c. skim milk
½ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
1½ c. broccoli florets
1 c. shredded cheese (see note)
¼ c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared mustard
Preheat oven to 375F. Coat an 8"x8" baking dish with cooking spray. Place the chicken breast in a medium skillet. Add enough water to cover (or almost cover) the chicken. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until the chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature of 165F). This should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then slice into bite-size pieces.
Heat oil and butter in the same skillet, allowing it to melt. Once melted, stir in the flour and whisk, to cook the raw taste out of the flour.
Once the roux has darkened just a bit (light golden) slowly whisk in the chicken broth, milk, and spices. Continue stirring until the liquid is brought to a simmer. At this point, the liquids should begin to seem a bit thicker.
The sauce should be able to coat the back of a spoon without coming together when divided.
Once simmering, add the broccoli and return to a simmer (1 to 2 minutes).
Remove from the heat and stir in ¾ of the cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard. In the prepared baking dish, spread half of the broccoli mixture over the bottom.
Next, add the chicken in an even layer.
Top with the remaining broccoli mixture.
Sprinkle over the remaining ¼ c. cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly; let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving!
I allowed it to cook for 17 minutes and then turned the broiler on to get nice brown cheese on top, about 3 minutes...SO delicious! I also prepared some egg noodles that were sprinkled with garlic powder and served this over them.
This recipe is a great idea to use up any leftover chicken that you have in your refrigerator, but if you want to begin by cooking the chicken, this recipe explains how.
For the cheese, I used a blend of four Italian cheeses; but you may use any cheese that you prefer!