Fresh broccoli can be broiled without being pre-steamed, but if you like the combination of soft interior and caramelized exterior, try this technique. If you don’t have a microwave, the broccoli can be steamed on the stove top or blanched in boiling water before being broiled.
Make Ahead: The broccoli can be microwaved up to 5 days in advance, then refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 1 medium or 2 small broccoli crowns (about 6 ounces)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 ounces total), visible fat trimmed off
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Pinch kosher or sea salt
- Red, brown or white rice, noodles or the grain of your choice, for serving
- 2 tablespoons low-fat Greek-style yogurt, for garnish (optional; may substitute regular or nonfat yogurt)
Cut the florets from the base stem of the broccoli crown(s), then cut each floret lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough skin from the base stem, then cut the stem lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices.
Place the broccoli in a microwave steamer or on a microwave-safe dish with just enough water to cover the bottom of the steamer or plate. Cover with the steamer lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes or until the broccoli is tender, then remove and uncover to let the broccoli cool enough to handle.
Lay the chicken thighs flat between two pieces of plastic wrap and lightly pound them to an even thickness. Remove them from the wrap and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
Position the rack in a gas or electric oven 4 to 5 inches from the flame or top heating element; preheat the broiler. Have a small roasting pan or baking sheet at hand.
Transfer the chicken and broccoli pieces to the roasting pan or baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the curry powder and salt.
Broil the chicken and broccoli until the vegetable is deeply browned on one side and the chicken is cooked through and browned, 4 or 5 minutes, shaking the pan or baking sheet once or twice so the ingredients brown evenly. Spoon over warm rice or noodles or the grain of your choice, then top with the yogurt and eat.
From Food editor Joe Yonan, author of "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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