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Chicken Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Ingredients :

  • three to four  slices cooked bacon
  • five to six oz freshly grated cheddar cheese (see notes)
  • three cups broccoli florets (steamed or blanched)
  • eight oz dry pasta
  • a quarter cup  unsalted butter
  • a quarter  cup all purpose flour
  • two cups whole milk (room temperature or warmed)
  • a quarter tsp salt
  • a quarter tsp  garlic powder
  • 1/8  tsp black pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired

Instructions:

• Pre-heat oven to three hundred fifty degrees F.

• Measure out all your ingredients, chop your broccoli, and grate your cheese.

• Boil pasta per package instructions (times will vary a smidge by brand/shape) until al dente. Drain and set aside one done.

• While the pasta cooks, start your sauce and broccoli.

• Cook broccoli via your favorite method. I’m a big fan of quickly blanching broccoli in boiling hot water until the florets turn bright green and tender.

• For the sauce, melt half stick of butter (a quarter cup) over medium heat.

• Add flour and whisk constantly while the flour cooks off into a roux, approx. 3 minutes.

• Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, to taste.

• Slowly pour in your room temperature milk, whisking constantly until smooth and fully incorporated. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken  as it rests.

• Add pasta and broccoli florets to a nine-inch baking dish.

• Sprinkle 5-6 ounces of freshly grated cheese on top of the pasta.

• Pour your cream sauce over the noodles and cheese. Use a rubber spatula to fold it all together. Feel free to top with a little extra cheese if you’d like, then top with bacon.

• Bake on center rack at three hundred fifty F for twenty minutes, until hot and bubbly.

 

Written by Alex Lyman

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