One of my random pregnancy cravings lately (other than jars and jars of salsa & tortilla chips), has been the Twisted Mac Chicken &Cheese from Hard Rock Cafe. I've had it several times when traveling... and since we definitely didn't want to go pay outrageous prices at a local tourist spot... I just made my own version. The chicken's got the perfect little kick, and the mac n' cheese is creamy & comforting! I've made it twice in 2 weeks... it's just so darn good! Here's what you need...
Twisted Chicken Mac n' Cheese Your's Truly
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese (shredded- plus more for on top)
1 1/2 cups mild yellow cheddar cheese (shredded- plus more for on top)
1 lb chicken tenders
1 lb cavatappi pasta
1/4 tsp ground caynne pepper (plus more for the chicken)
1/4 tsp chili powder (plus more for the chicken)
First, preheat your broiler. Then do a little prep work... shred your cheese into a large bowl, measure out your flour & milk, and get your chicken on a large plate to season it.
Now grab a large pot and get the water boiling for the pasta. Make sure you add plenty of salt to the water before adding the cavatappi & then cook it to package directions.
Next you'll go ahead and cook the chicken. Season both sides liberally with S&P, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Put a skillet with a few tbsp of EVOO over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side and then wrap up your tenders in foil to keep 'em hot and let 'em rest.
Grab another skillet (or you can rinse out the one you just used, like I do!) and add a tbsp of EVOO & 2 tbsp of butter. When they're combined, whisk in your flour. Cook it for about 3 minutes, continuing to whisk. Then slowly whisk in the milk. Let the sauce thicken for a few minutes and then add some S&P, and the cayenne & chili powder. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, one cup at a time.
Dump your pasta into a large casserole dish and pour the cheesy goodness all over the top. Give it a good stir to coat all the pasta and then cover it with the remaining shredded cheese. Pop it under the broiler for about 5 minutes till it's golden on top.
While it's getting all bubbly under the broiler, cut up the chicken to serve on top of the mac n' cheese.
Serve up a big bowl of cheesy deliciousness & Enjoy y'all!