Monday, February 18, 2013

Bacon and Chicken Mac and Cheese

This recipe will goose up your macaroni and cheese casserole and adults and kids will love it.

8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
8 slices bacon
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup undiluted cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheese blend of your choice (cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack or your Mexican blend)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Do not over cook it since you will be baking it.

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside.  Cut up the chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done.  Set the chicken aside.

Melt butter in the bacon/chicken drippings over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk to make a roux. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk.  Gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes to let sauce cool. Add cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spoon mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and Colby Jack cheese. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Variation – Tired of chicken?  Try turning the casserole into a beef and mac cheese casserole.  Replace the chicken with a pound of good ground beef.  Like a little heat?  Add a couple dashes of hot sauce to your cheese mixture.   What else would you toss in?

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.   

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