Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twisted Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese recipe is amazing. This transforms a typical side dish into an entree. What could not be good about chicken, bacon, pasta, and cheese, lots of cheese? This is the definition of comfort food. This modern twist on an old-time favorite is a keeper.
Source: Adapted from, Alton Brown

Ingredients for Chicken:
1 package of Chicken Tenderloins
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for Bacon:
5 pieces of Cooked Bacon, thick-cut and crumbled

Ingredients for Mac and Cheese:
1/2 lb of Mini-Farfalle Pasta
3 tablespoons of Butter
1.5 tablespoons of Flour
1/2 tablespoon of Powdered Mustard
1.5 Cups of Milk
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 teaspoon of Paprika
12 oz. Sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Pepper
Additional Toppings: Shredded Cheese for topping, Bread Crumbs

First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, get out a 9x13 in pan. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom place the chicken in and top with the additional olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally on both sides of the chicken.

Place the chicken in the oven for 30-45 minutes for raw chicken and 45-60 minutes for frozen chicken. Cook thoroughly, until juices run clear. Leave the oven on to bake the macaroni and cheese at the end.

Let the chicken cool in the pan. Set aside.

Now, while the chicken is cooking it is time to get to work on the pasta!

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package to al dente. Make sure to add a dash of salt to the water to flavor the pasta. Strain and set aside.

While your pasta is cooking, get a small saucepan and place it on low heat. Melt the butter.

When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and dry mustard, until there are no lumps. Stir in the milk, paprika, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Let this simmer for 10 minutes.

Now, add the cheese. Stir this until the cheese is well incorporated into the sauce.

Back to the chicken! Cut the tenderloins into bite sized pieces.

Now, get out a 2-quart casserole dish. Pour the pasta in first, then the chicken and the juices from the pan, the bacon, and lastly the cheese sauce. Combine it well.

Sprinkle any additional toppings on top, I recommend some sharp cheddar, and bake for 20-30 minutes.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

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