Sunday, November 13

Rachel Ray's - Mac & Cheese

with Chicken & Broccoli....
                                           more Mac & cheese please!

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 lb. chicken tenders or breast (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1lb. Elbow (macaroni) pasta
2 Heads of broccoli (cut into florets)
3 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of Flour (all-purpose)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (or paprika)
3 cups of milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard

Place a large pot of water tp boil & cook pasta accordingly. Last minute, throw in broccoli to cook.
Strain pasta & broccoli & set aside. In a medium skillet, add oil & cook chicken pieces until brown, add chopped onion during last 3 mins.(About 5-7 min). Season w/ salt & pepper Set aside.

Make a roux: (the cheese sauce) ;)
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add butter & melt, then flour, cayenne & whisk away.. until mixture bubbles, then cook for another minute. Whisk in milk & stock, raise heat to bring sauce to a quick boil. You want to simmer until sauce thickens.(About 5 mins) 
Add cheese to milk sauce and stir until it melts in completely. Should take about 1 min.
Stir in mustard & season with salt & pepper. Taste, carefully.

Pour drained pasta back into the large pot in cooked in, por cheese sauce over the entire pasta, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning acoordingly.
** Rachel Ray's recipe stopped here.. she actually combines the
chicken & broccoli w/ cheese mixture & then serves.

For some odd reason (don't ask) I sprinkled bread crumbs & baked the thing in the oven for 15 minutes or so... and then topped with chicken & broccoli. Why?? Because I had a motherly instinct my girls wouldn't enjoy the broccoli mixed in. She's my special angel!

Macaroni baked at 350 degrees...


Tips/ Insight: When I attempt this dish again, I will definitely explore other cheeses. Maybe some Fontina or a Premixed cheese blend... I don't know we'll see. As for you....Be creative!!
Recipe from: Rachel Ray's Top 30 (30-minute meals) Kid Food, 2004