This is a nice Valentine's Day entrée to serve to special people.
Partially cook fresh broccoli or asparagus while chicken is baking; drain well and set aside. Note: May use thawed frozen broccoli or asparagus spears; drain well, but do not cook, as they will become too mushy during baking process.
On a sheet of wax paper, dredge chicken breasts or breast pieces in flour, coating each lightly.
In a large heavy skillet, melt butter or heat oil over moderate heat. Add chicken and brown each piece thoroughly on all sides. Transfer chicken to a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan/dish or other casserole and bake, partially covered, in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Prepare Sherry Sauce while chicken is baking.
When chicken is done, arrange partially cooked broccoli or asparagus spears between chicken pieces in baking pan/dish; evenly spoon prepared Sherry Sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Evenly sprinkle almonds, cheese, and paprika over the top of the casserole. Return casserole to oven and continue baking, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is fork tender, sauce bubbly hot, and almonds and cheese lightly browned.
about 2 1/3 cups
In a medium heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat; add flour, blending well into a smooth paste. Gradually add milk, blending well. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderate heat, until mixture is thickened and bubbly hot. Remove from heat and stir in sherry, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in pimento. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Preparation for partially cooking broccoli and asparagus: In a deep large heavy saucepan, cook asparagus, uncovered, in salted boiling water to cover for 2 to 3 minutes after water returns to a boil or until asparagus are tender but crisp and firm. Or, arrange asparagus spears in an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish; add water to just cover asparagus. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, allowing for steam venting; microwave at HIGH power for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Rinse asparagus in cold water; dry thoroughly, and set aside.
To cook partially cooked broccoli, Clean broccoli; remove the outer leaves and tough part of stalks. Cut stalks lengthwise into uniform spears. Cook broccoli spears, uncovered, in 1-inch of boiling salted water over moderate to high heat until crisp tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Or, microwave broccoli in water to cover in a glass heat-proof bowl loosely covered with plastic wrap at HIGH power for 1 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Immediately rinse broccoli under cold running water to stop cooking action