Monday, February 7, 2011

Bacon-Chicken Mac & Cheese

With chicken, bacon, mushroom soup, onion, garlic and dill...there are lots of flavors in this dish! A cream of chicken or cheddar soup would work as well if you want a more 'purist' version. The dill could also be omitted, though I think it's a nice touch (and only add a pinch if you're using dried instead of fresh). With the bacon, butter and cheeses, I found it plenty salty without adding the salt the recipe calls for.

8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
2 slices bacon
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls flour
1½ C milk
1/3 C cream of mushroom condensed soup
3 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chopped fresh dill
(½ tsp salt)
½ C shredded colby-Jack cheese

Cook pasta (omit salt); drain.

Cook bacon an a large nonstick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon and set aside. Cut chicken into ½" chunks; add chicken to skillet and sautée in bacon drippings until well done.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine soup and milk; gradually add to saucepan, stirring with whisk. Bring to boil; cook until thick (2-3 minutes).

Remove from heat and let stand 3-4 minutes. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Preheat broiler. Spoon Mac & Cheese into an 8" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and browns slightly.

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