This dish is so easy. I've been fiddling with it for years and now have it to the point where it's easy to make. So easy. I did not do a mise en place for this recipe because it's so ridiculously easy I think I only took five shots. So here we go.
Start by simmering pasta in the pot and steaming broccoli (small pieces).
For the pasta, I used angel hair. Any pasta should work nicely, but the angel hair cooks very quickly so I'm used to working with it in this recipe. While these two things happen I nuke the chicken. Yes, I used the "grilled chicken strips" in the frozen bag from Costco. It's hot and I don't feel like dicing up and sauteing the chicken breasts (although I have done so in the past). So I grab about two handfuls of strips and put them on a plate in the microwave to warm up (maybe a minute, minute and a half). I just want them defrosted so I can cut them into bite sized pieces. As soon as the chicken is done, I mix up a cup or so of chicken broth and nuke that in the micro. Just warm, not scalding. You could certainly use top quality cartons of chicken broth, but I don't have any on hand.
Okay, the pasta is done, and I've turned off the broccoli. I lift the pasta out of the water and leave the basket draining on the sink. Taking my pasta pan and throw 2 to 3 tbsp butter in the bottom and add a tbsp or so of flour. These measurements are not exact as I'm a throw and toss type of chef (I just called myself a chef!). The goal is to make a small amount of a loose roux. Toss in about 3/4 of your chicken broth and stir, turn the heat down as low as it will go. Zest an entire lemon into the pot thusly:
Now cut the lemon in half and juice the whole thing into the pot. Stir. Dump the pasta and broccoli in. Stir. Dice up your chicken and dump that in. Should look like this...
Add the remainder of your broth and stir it on up. Now the variables....Sometimes I add a even a little more broth (because I never measure the amount of pasta, chicken or broccoli), sometimes I've grated a little cheese over it. Sometimes I've added fresh herbs to it. Rosemary is better than tarragon if you go down this route, Mostly I just stir it up and eat it though. Thanks to the loose roux, it has a little body and holds together nicely. This is definitely a family favorite, and even though it's pasta, it's very light! And on a week night, it's super fast!