Miracles happen. I have 3 children who all eat table food, and last night I attempted to make ONE DINNER and feed it to my entire little family as we sat around the table together.
I have to share the recipe - it's from "The Gourmet Cookbook" but it's very easy to make. Just a few steps and a few pots and pans, but don't be intimidated. It was so so delicious and with a few tweaks I think it will become a staple in our meal rotation. Anything that gets me excited to eat broccoli is a winner in my book.
(*Important: I substituted a bag of ready-to-steam fresh broccoli florets for the long-stemmed broccoli in this recipe, and it was a huge mistake. I also boiled it for too long, what a rookie move. I should know better. It fell apart to mush in the cream sauce, so go get a big sturdy stalk of broccoli, and for pete's sake don't overcook it!)
1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T olive oil
1 large bunch broccoli (1 1/2 lbs) trimmed and cut into 4 inch long florets
1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter
5 T flour
2 C chicken broth
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 C medium-dry sherry
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 C finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until cooked through, 8-12 minutes total. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into long thin slices.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli in a 4 or 5 quart pot of well salted boiling water, 3-6 minutes but do not overcook! Drain and set aside.
Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux. Add stock in a slow stream, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, whisking occasionally, for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Beat cream with electric mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Fold cream into sauce, along with sherry and lemon juice. Stir in 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper.
Arrange broccoli evenly in bottom of a 2 quart gratin or other flameproof shallow baking dish. Pour half of sauce over broccoli. Stir in 1/2 C Parmesan into remaining sauce. Arrange chicken slices over broccoli and pour remaining sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C Parmesan.
Bake until just hot, about 15 minutes. Turn oven to broil and keep a close eye, pulling the baking dish out when the sauce on top is golden and bubbling, about 1 minute.