Mac and cheese is my one true comfort food.
It is also probably my favorite dish – I would add just about anything to mac and cheese. I would totally eat my vegetables if eating them drenched in creamy cheese sauce was doable each night.
Do you know who else loves mac and cheese? Mr. How Sweet.
But he doesn’t love “souped up” mac and cheese. He asked for mac and cheese to be made with chicken this weekend, and I had visions of gourmet ramekins dancing in my head. Sweet caramelized onion and bacon would be just perfect.
So I shared my ideas with Mr. How Sweet and he just got mad. He wanted plain mac and cheese. Plain. Boring, old, vanilla. Noodles, cheese and chicken. That’s it.
Sometimes I forget that he still has the tastebuds of a 4-year old.
I semi-convinced him that it would be delicious and promised that he would love it. Actually, that didn’t work at all. But I made it anyway.
Because every other time I make something and he whines, he ends up eating the entire thing before I even get a plate.
And as usual, I ended up being right… again. I am his personal taste bud ambassador.
This may become a new staple in our house. The onions and peppers were caramelized but still crisp, and they added a touch of sweetness to the creamy cheese sauce. And the bacon… well you know that was just fabulous.
Chicken Mac and Cheese
1 1/2 lbs whole wheat pasta
2 boneless chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
3 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded smoked gruyere cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Boil water for pasta and cook according to directions. In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and saute onions and red pepper. While water is boiling, make sauce. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add butter and flour and whisk together to create a roux. Add milk and cream, stirring constantly. Add cheeses and pinch of nutmeg, stirring consistently for 5-8 minutes until mixture thickens.
In a baking dish, layer pasta, chicken, pepper and onion mixture, and bacon, Add half of cheese sauce, then more pasta, chicken, peppers, onion and bacon. Add remaining cheese sauce.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Know what Mr. How Sweet ate with his chicken mac and cheese?
Chicken. In the form of rotisserie.
I am not even joking.