>Mac and Cheddar Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

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This is a great mac and cheese recipe if you are looking for a whole meal in one. We have had it a few times and when I made it last time I used the leftover chicken from my chicken dijonnaise. I am so glad I thought of this and it is a great way to use your leftover chicken (especially if your leftover chicken had mustard on it)!

I often watch Rachael Ray to get ideas for dinner and this is one of her mac and cheese recipes. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 pound chicken breast tenders, chopped (we used leftover chicken from our Chicken Dijonnaise)
salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped (we used frozen diced onion)
1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
2 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets, available packaged in produce department (we used frozen florets)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

 

Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni.

Heat a medium pan over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute a couple of minutes then add onion and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat and reserve.

To boiling pasta water, add pasta and salt to season the cooking water. Cook 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked to al dente and florets are just tender.

While pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter and melt, then add flour, cayenne and paprika and whisk together over heat until roux bubbles then cook a minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat a little to bring sauce to a quick boil. Simmer sauce to thicken about 5 minutes.

Drain macaroni or pasta and broccoli florets. Add back to pot and add chicken to the pasta and broccoli.

Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt it in, about a minute or so. Stir in mustard and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and cooked pasta and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings, transfer to a large serving platter and serve.

 

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