On an average week we order-out or go out to eat at most one day. Some weeks we don't go out at all - especially if I have a good meal plan that week! So when I go out of town for work - it's really hard for me to eat out for every meal. Mostly because I am so unimpressed by most foods at restaurants and I get sick of it really quickly. I always try to order things that I would likely not make for myself at home - and I don't mind being adventurous when I'm on per diem :) But Macaroni and Cheese - I mean Macaroni and Chicken - is not really an adventurous meal - but it was SO GOOD! I was at Rock Bottom Brewery when I ordered this - first time I went there - and I really enjoyed the food. So I tried to create a replica of this dish for us at home - and it was a success! Not exactly like Rock Bottom - but still fantastic.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 pound pasta (I used whole wheat bionaturae globbetti)
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. powdered mustard
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 large egg
- 8 ounces mild white cheddar, grated
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tsp. seasoned salt
- fresh black pepper
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. grated parmesan
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Trim the fat from your chicken and cut in half longways. Set on a baking sheet and season generously with paprika, 1 tsp. seasoned salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. When chicken is halfway done, set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and add pasta once it’s boiling - cook according to package directions -less 1-2 minutes and drain, set aside.
3. In a medium size pot, melt the butter. Whisk in flour and mustard powder – keep the mixture moving. Once it’s lump-free, stir in milk, onion and paprika. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
4. When the chicken is done set it aside to cool and turn down oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Stir in the cheese to the milk/onion mixture. Season with additional 1 tsp. seasoned salt and pepper, then fold the cooked pasta into the mixture.
6. Shred cooked chicken and incorporate with the pasta and mixture. Pour into a large casserole dish.
7. Melt the butter for the topping in a microwave safe bowl, and add the parmesan and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over pasta.
8. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.