Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Mac & Cheese

Creative name, isn't it? Let me know if you have a better one. Ok- 2 out of 4 kids didn't like this. It's because they don't like homemade mac & cheese- specifically: melted cheese. But the rest of us thought it was wonderful! I've been fasinated with homemade mac & cheese for the last few months. I made it once several years ago, following a recipe online (because I had never had it before- ever, only the boxed junk), it called for a sauce to be made, poured over the pasta and baked. It was gross- the sauce clumped up and didn't taste good either. So when Titus was born, I knew my midwife could make Mac & Cheese- so I asked her to make it while she was here. It was delicious. But this was her husbands preferred recipe, so she told me how she likes- basically, there are a bunch of different ways.

I started watching the food network when I nurse Titus... and they were making mac & cheese- everyone had their own twist, so I started experimenting. I haven't made a bad one yet! Ok, I'll admit that Jesse and Stephen haven't enjoyed my experiments- but Luke has been loving it. Guess it's payback for all the rice dishes I make that they love and Luke despises. So here's my latest and honestly, I think it's my best!

Chicken Mac & Cheese
16 oz pasta, cooked in salted water to al dente, drained (I used Cappelletti this time)
1/3 c. sundried tomatoes, diced (in olive oil- I have the julienne ones, so I had to chop them up some more)
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes and cooked in frying pan, until done.
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar (sharp is good for this, but Med. or Mild is fine too)
3 slices white bread
2 TB parsley flakes
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 TB butter*

Toss pasta and sundried tomatoes, then mix in cheese and chicken. Pour into 9"x13" baking dish.
In food processor:
Tear up bread and put in, add the parsley and parmesan- blend until fine.
Sprinkle bread crumbs over the pasta, dot with butter*, bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes. Broil for a couple minutes at the end- just to brown the top.
*ok, this time I dotted the top with butter- but next time, I'm going to freeze the butter, after I cut it into a couple smaller pieces and then mix it in the food processor with the bread crumbs. The purpose of the butter is to help the bread crumbs brown pretty.

Meal Cost
Pasta; $1.33
Chicken: $1.88
Mozzarella Cheese: $.82
Cheddar Cheese: $1.00
Parmesan Cheese: $.40
Sundried Tomatoes: $.66
Meal total: $6.09
We had enough for 5 big eaters, Naomi and 2 leftover servings: $.87/serving.

I did buy my cheese, Sundried tomato, and Pasta at Costco, which cuts the cost of this dish.


Cara said...

Is that how it goes? People who don't like pasta like rice and vice versa? Darin doesn't like pasta but likes rice... which I totally don't get. I like both.

Peggy McG said...

I just started following your blog. Love it! Speaking of rice vs pasta; Jim really doesn't like either one. He's pretty much a meat & potatoes man but does put up w/ my experiments from time to time!

Rachel said...

Cara, I love both too. Jesse and Stephen like both, but they don't like melted cheese on pasta.
I've heard of people who don't like either and think I would be so bored with meat and potatoes all the time! Thankfully Brian eats anything- well, except for mushrooms, but I can deal with that.
Peggy- thanks for checking out my blog!


Related Posts with Thumbnails