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Recipes: skillet chicken and broccoli

Working with inquisitive children often leads one to research items which otherwise would remain left alonefrying pans. Having spent the bulk of the last four months with students aged 7 – 15, I’ve learned there are few things students will not ask – often randomly.

Map of ancient Mesopotamia
Ready to eat

Just last week a third grade student wanted to know who invented skillets. Having no idea, I had to promise I would find out and get back to him. I will share the following information with him when I tutor him tomorrow.

A skillet, or frying pan, is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing and browning foods. It is usually 8 to 12 inches in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, has a long handle and no lid.

Copper skillets were used in ancient Mesopotamia. They were also known in ancient Greece where they were called tagēnon and Rome where they were called patella or sartago.

Cooking pots and pans with legless, flat bottoms were designed when cooking stoves became popular. It was this period of the late 19th century when the flat cast iron skillet was introduced.

Make this delicious recipe for skillet chicken and broccoli and put this new information to good use.


  • 1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 package (1 lb) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 can (18 oz) Progresso® Vegetable Classics creamy mushroom soup
  • 1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen broccoli & cheese sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Make rice as directed on package. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook chicken in oil 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  2. Pour soup over chicken. Place broccoli & cheese around chicken. Sprinkle with thyme and pepper. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F) and broccoli is tender. Remove chicken from skillet and place on serving platter. Stir vegetables and sauce. Pour sauce over chicken.

    Some people suggest using cream of chicken soup in lieu of the cream of mushroom soup; adding a cup of mayo with a teaspoon of lemon juice; placing the broccoli on the bottom of the dish, then half the sauce, then the chicken, and then the remainder of the sauce.

    You may want to experiment to see which you prefer.

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