Macaroni & Cheese with Smoked Bacon & Chicken

Macaroni & Cheese with Smoked Bacon & Chicken

Macaroni & Cheese with Smoked Bacon & Chicken 



Ingredients:

8 oz pasta

2 Tbsp sweet butter, unsalted

2 Tbsp flour, all purpose variety

2 c milk

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 c crème fraîche

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 c extra sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 c pepper jack cheese

salt to taste

black pepper to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

2 slice smoked pepper bacon, cooked and chopped

1 medium chicken breast, cooked and cut into cubes, about 8 ounces

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

1/2 c Parmesan cheese


Directions:

Gather your ingredients

Cook the chicken, cut up into cubes, and reserve

Cook the bacon, crumble, and reserve

Mix the panko breadcrumbs with the Parmesan, some salt, pepper, and cayenne, and reserve.

Cook the pasta, according to package directions, until al dente.

Chef’s Note: Al dente is used to refer to food cooked so it is still firm to bite but not soft. This is very important to pasta, which should be removed from the cooking liquid just before it has fully cooked through, as like most foods, it will continue to cook after being removed from the heat source.

Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 400f

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Once the foaming has subsided, whisk in the flour, and cook the roux for about 3 minutes.

Add the milk in a slow steady stream, while continuing to whisk.

Allow the mixture to come to a light boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

Whisk in the crème fraîche, mustard, nutmeg, salt, pepper, & cayenne.

Add the cheeses.

Whisk until they have melted into the sauce.

Add in the bacon & chicken, and stir (not whisk) until combined.

Add the cooked & drained pasta and stir to combine.

Add the mixture to a baking dish, about 9x9 should do.

Cover with the Panko/Parmesan topping.

Place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top begins to brown.

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