1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2/3 lb.) ($2.00)
1 pinch salt and pepper ($0.05)
1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
2 Tbsp butter ($0.26)
1 cup evaporated milk ($0.53)
1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika ($0.02)
1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
8 oz. extra sharp white cheddar, shredded ($1.75)
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender. Add the frozen broccoli florets to the pot of boiling water and pasta, and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and broccoli together in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the chicken. Season both sides of the chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon cooking oil to a large, deep skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, swirl the oil to coat the surface of the skillet, add the chicken breast, and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes per side). Remove the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and allow it to rest for five minutes, then chop it into small cubes.
Turn the heat under the skillet used to cook the chicken down to medium-low, and add the butter. Allow the butter to melt, and use a whisk to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour in the evaporated milk and continue to whisk to dissolve the browned bits completely off the bottom.
Whisk the garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt into the evaporated milk. Once the evaporated milk is hot, begin adding the shredded white cheddar, one handful at a time, whisking until it is fully melted before adding the next handful. Once all the cheese has been whisked into the hot sauce, turn the heat down to low.
Add the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli, and the chopped chicken to the skillet with the cheese sauce. Stir to combine and fully coat the pasta, broccoli, and chicken in the sauce, then enjoy!