I started poking around my kitchen and just kind of tossing things out on the counter. I guess I figured if I tossed enough things out there eventually I would be able to put a few together to make a meal. Well shock of shocks, I was RIGHT. Of course it turned out that I was going to make a mac and cheese. That is one of my comfort foods so I guess it was a subliminal thing. I am sick = give me mac and cheese. Something about that ooyey gooey cheesy goodness that just promises yummy in my tummy.
I had a couple of chicken breasts that I had poached a couple of nights ago with another recipe I made. I decided to poach all of the breasts I had so I would have some cooked chicken to work with later in the week. I must have been psychic! So I defrosted the chicken boobies and got to work.
You could substitute just about any cheese you want in this recipe. That is the beauty of a mac and cheese and why it is so versatile. I had Gruyere because I am making a quiche tonight, but I knew I wouldn't use it all in one dish so grabbed some of that, and sharp cheddar, and parm. TADA dinner!!
Cheesy Chicken Mac
1/2 box elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 chicken breasts, poached or oven roasted, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup of Parmesan flavored breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Into a large pot of boiling salted water add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Toss the chopped chicken in 1 to 2 minutes, just to warm it up.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add onion mixture and cheese to the cooked macaroni and then place it all into a casserole dish.