Creamy Chicken Penne
- 6 ounces whole-wheat penne
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- Black pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly, return to pot and cover.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring once or twice, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes; set aside.
3. Add remaining oil and the onion, fennel, garlic, salt and thyme to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sherry and cook, stirring often, until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat. Add broth and milk, increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add chicken and any accumulated juices back to skillet and cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
5. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 30 to 90 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and chives. Stir chicken and sauce into pasta; season with black pepper.