Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicken Ranch Mac & Cheese

I found this recipe on Pinterest

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

*I used 2 T Ranch seasoning

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
2. 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.
3. 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. 
4. Stir in most of the cheese.  (Reserve a handful of each cheese blend to sprinkle on top of casserole.)  Add spices and chicken and stir to combine.
5. 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.
In my opinion: This was good and I think I'll make it again one day, but not with 4 little ones who need my attention. This requires many steps and dirties many dishes.

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