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Chicken and broccoli with béchamel sauce

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Some of you might complain that this recipe is too labor intensive. And indeed, it takes time to prepare it and then do the washing up afterwards. But it’s worth it, I want to assure you – it’s creamy, warming and healthy, and definitely worth the effort.Chicken and broccoli with bechamel sauce

Serves: 4 (large portions)
Preparation & cooking time: 75 minutes

Ingredients:

4 chicken legs and thighs or around 600g chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
1celery stalk with leaves, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 parsley sprigs
Salt and pepper
0,7l béchamel sauce
1 head of broccoli (500g) cut in florets
50g Parmesan, grated
Freshly ground nutmeg

Method:

Place the chicken legs in a saucepan, cover with water and adds salt, pepper, onion, celery, bay leaves and parsley. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Skim the stock, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until chicken is tender.

Meanwhile prepare the béchamel sauce (click for the recipe here). It’s now time to steam the broccoli but first cut the head in small flowerets and rinse well. If you don’t have steamer basket, try steel pasta colander – it does the same job. Place it in a large saucepan, add water but be careful it doesn’t touch the bottom of the basket. Place the broccoli flowerets and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and steam it for 3 to 4 minutes. For frozen broccoli use the same method but steam for shorter time.

At this stage you want the broccoli half-cooked, as you will cook them more lately. When the chicken is ready, leave it to slightly cool in the stock, and then skin and debone legs and thighs, and tear the meat into byte size pieces.

Mix the chicken with the half of the béchamel sauce. Distribute the mix into 4 large ramekins. Arrange the broccoli florets on the top and cover with the rest of the béchamel.

Bake at 180 C/360 F for about 15 minutes or just until bubbly. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, and return in the oven for additional 2-3 minutes, or till the cheese is slightly golden.

Serve hot, with some freshly ground nutmeg sprinkled on top.


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