Chicken Bowtie Pasta with Broccoli


RECIPE #458, DAY #629


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Tuxedo Chicken” from Mills’ and Ross’ Desperation Dinners

TIMING: 20 minutes, or maybe 30


TOOLS: Pot to boil pasta, wide and deep saute pan, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: While this may strike some middle-aged people as healthy because of the chicken breasts and broccoli, it’s not entirely. Focused on pasta and green veggies (as well as a lighter cream sauce), it could be better. It could also be much worse.


EXPERIENCE: This was marked—from many years ago—as a thumbs-up recipe. Our tastes have refined over the years, and the response now is much more qualified. It does come together quickly, is people-pleasing, and uses lean protein and green veggies. But the sauce is not guest food. It lacks some French technique or something, or else a Midwestern dash of canned cream-of soup (which no, I would not do). It is a fine weeknight entrée, however, although it really would be best with a green salad with plenty of veggies, or else some other vegetable side. Perhaps an Italian Chopped Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing (which I saw on thekitchn) or a tomato, beet, or orange and fennel salad?

NOTES: The peas were not in the original recipe and are optional. However, why not up your veggie-ante by dropping some frozen peas in a nearly-finished dish?

I’m also not entirely sure the Worcestershire sauce is necessary. Maybe some lemon zest, instead? And you could definitely finish it off with parsley.


  1. Boil 12 ounces farfalle in salted water, according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, steam 1 head chopped broccoli in either a stove-top steamer or electric steamer, just until it has turned a vibrant green and is still tender-crisp. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a deep and wide saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and cook until translucent.
  4. Push the onion to the rim of the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and add 1 pound chicken breasts cut into strips. Cook until chicken is just white all the way through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  5. Add 1 pressed clove garlic and stir 30 seconds.
  6. Reduce heat to medium, again. Whisk in 8 ounces sour cream, 1 cup half and half, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce. Continue to whisk until sauce has thickened a little, but do not boil.
  7. Remove from heat and toss in chicken, broccoli, pasta, and ¾ cup defrosted peas. Taste for seasonings.


Serve with an Italian Chopped Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing (which I saw on thekitchn). Also, sparkling lemonades.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: You can warm this up later, although the broccoli will go gray and the sauce will split. It’ll still taste fine, but there’s no other wonderful way to use it. You could halve the original recipe, of course.

*Recipe changed from the original.

NOTE: Officially, I did not make this dish. I “taught” while my step-brother assembled. Just sayin’.


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