Saturday, 27 October 2012

Chicken ranch mac & cheese

16 oz. dried pasta
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 package of bacon
1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 c. milk, any fat content
1 pkg. Italian blend shredded cheese; divided
1 c. Monterey Jack shredded cheese or Colby-Jack blend, divided
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, leaving some drippings in the pan.  Drain bacon on a paper towel.  Add chicken to drippings, increase heat to medium-high and saute until no longer pink.  Set aside.
Melt butter in the same pot you made the pasta in. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add milk to saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir in most of the cheese.  Reserve a handful of each cheese blend to sprinkle on top of casserole. Add pasta, spices, and chicken and stir to combine.
Spray 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer pasta to baking pan. 
Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and reserved cheeses.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

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