Friday, April 5, 2013

Kitchen's Mac + Chicken

I used to hate cheese. There is a reason for this. When I was six years old, I started school in the US and before this point, I had never eaten cheese before. On the first day of school, I was given a string cheese in the cafeteria. For some reason, I thought it was some weird form of a banana and since I couldn't read English, I didn't know any better. I took a bite and was traumatized for years since.

It took me til maybe high school to warm up to cheese. And I never tried mac and cheese until college. Only recently have I become a little obsessed with it. My roommate loves it so anytime we eat out at a restaurant that offers it as a side, we always order it. I can't believe I missed out on something this fantastic for so long.

Adapted from The Washingtonian -- I LOVE this recipe series because it gives recipes from top DC restaurants :DDD

  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups penne, 1 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp olive oil to prep pasta
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cubed chicken beast
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced white cheddar (I actually used a white cheese mix)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese as needed

Prep your pasta to al dente by cooking in water with salt and olive oil, and also preheat the oven to 450F. Meanwhile, prep your onion. Cut the half onion into quarters and slice thinly. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium-high until it's hot and begins to smoke, then add onions. Stir frequently and cook until it caramelizes, then remove from heat. 

In an ovenproof pan, melt butter. Add in cubed chicken, caramelized onions, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir well, then pour in brandy to deglaze. 

Add the pasta and flour into the pan, and cook for two minutes.

Pour in half-and-half and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's thickened and coats the pasta. Turn off the heat.

Stir in the shredded cheese, and scrape down the sides of your pan.

Top with grated parmesan cheese, and bake in the oven til the parm is melted and slightly browned.


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