Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces ziti
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
One 4.5-ounce can diced green chiles
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until al dente (if a range is given on the box, choose the shortest time, otherwise, cook it 1 minute less than the suggested time). Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter with the canola oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the hot skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the cauliflower, onion and mushrooms to the skillet along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and the mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over top and cook, stirring, until all of the flour has moistened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until reduced by about half. Add the chicken broth and 1/4 cup water, increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until simmering and slightly thickened. Add the heavy cream, cream cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan; stir to combine. Pour all of the sauce and vegetables into the pot with the pasta. Add the peas, thyme and green chiles. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. If not serving right away, let cool. Cover and refrigerate up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake until hot and bubbling, about 45 minutes.