Grilled Chicken-and-Bacon Mac ’n’ Cheese

Grilled Chicken-and-Bacon Mac ’n’ Cheese

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  • Prep Time

    minutes

  • Total Time

    minutes

  • Servings

    servings


Ingredients

  • 6

    slices good-quality smoky bacon, such as applewood-smoked

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1

    pound whole wheat short-cut pasta

  • 2

    pieces skinless, boneless chicken breast, lightly pounded

  • EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), for drizzling

  • ½

    teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

  • 4

    tablespoons butter

  • 1

    large onion, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced

  • 2

    rounded tablespoons flour

  • ½

    cup cloudy apple cider or chicken stock

  • 2

    cups whole milk

  • 2

    tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

  • cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese

  • 1

    cup shredded gruyère cheese

  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or celery greens, for garnish

Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 375°. Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a rack placed over a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Chop and reserve. Switch on the broiler and position the rack in the center of the oven. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the instructions indicate, or until just shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot. While the pasta is working, heat a grill pan or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle the chicken with EVOO to coat lightly, then season evenly with the paprika, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a cutting board and halve the pieces lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. While the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until light golden and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the cider (or stock), then the milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the thyme and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheeses until melted.. Add the chicken, bacon and sauce to the pasta and transfer to a casserole. Broil until bubbling and browned, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the parsley (or celery greens).


Nutrition

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