Grown up Mac n’ Cheese

Mac n’ Cheese is every kids favourite growing up. My College years – I lived off boxes of “Crap” dinner as my dad would call it! Mu uncle for Christmas one year got me a Huge case of white cheddar mac n’ Cheese. It was the best thing to have around for after the Bar! It really soaked up that alcohol.  Now that I am grown I rarely ever buy mac n cheese in a box. When I do, its because I am specifically craving KD and Hot dogs.

Now, when I crave mac n’ cheese I just make my own. Its pretty easy to make and its quick. Plus you can make a big frikkin’ batch and freeze it for later!
IMG_6022

This mac n’ cheese is my “Grown up” version that you can’t get from a box!

Here is what you need:

  • 2 chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 cups Macaroni pasta
  • Cheesy garlic Sauce:IMG_6018
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 fat garlic clove grated
    • 1/2 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
    • 1/4 cup white wine
      (cook with what you would drink)
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 2 cups marble cheese
      (or whatever you want)
    • 1-2 stems fresh Oregano
    • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Fresh Oregano for Garnish
  • Crispy Bacon Optional
  • Broccoli optional

serves 4-6 servings

What to do?:

  1. Bring salty water to a boil for your pasta
  2. Coat chicken with S&P, grated garlic and Italian seasoning – cook in pan with EVOO
  3. in a medium high sauce pan melt your butter and once it starts to bubble, add your garlic, nutmeg and flour and whisk well – this is your rue for your sauce
  4.  once your rue is combined add in your white wine – whisking for about a minute
  5. add milk whisk until combined and the sauce begins to thicken
  6. Add in your cheeses to your sauce and stir frequently
  7. add in the oregano and black pepper
  8. once the sauce is thick (if you can draw a line through your spoon when it comes out of the sauce – it is ready
  9. add in your cooked chicken
  10. save 1/4 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add it and your 1/4 pasta water into the sauce pan with your chicken and sauce.
  11. allow the sauce and the noodles to stick together

Tips:

If you want to add in broccoli – you can cook it at the same time as your pasta and add it in when you add the pasta.

If you want crispy bacon too – add it to the dish when you add in your chicken.

You can omit the wine if you want, and you can claw back the garlic if you aren’t like me and need to eat it on everything.

Add whatever cheeses you like. You can add in 3 or 4 cheeses if you want. just cut your 2 cups into 1/4 cups or 1/2 cups – whatever you desire.

I used marble because it was what i had in the fridge… but if i had a choice – I’d use a mix of any of these:
White cheddar, Sharp orange cheddar or Colby, Gruyere, Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, Swiss, Blue… whatever you want!!! try different ones out each time until you find one that’s a win!

Enjoy creating!!

-Brittany

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