It’s been a bit of a pasta week around here, so let’s end it with a favorite.
I was asked a to contribute to Wisconsin Cheese’s 30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese, and oh man am I glad that I did. Mainly because I was introduced to this trove of recipes created by some amazing food bloggers. And I got to dress up some tasty elbow macaroni.
I gussied up large elbow macaroni with creamy fontina and a little salty parm to mix up a classic casserole in our family, Chicken Divan—or as some call Broccoli and Chicken—to create my Smudge’s new favorite Chicken Divan Macaroni and Cheese.
Since big Daddy—my husband—was out of town and it was just me and my gal, I had ssseeeeveral servings left over. So I packed it up and took it to one of her friend’s houses—ya know, scoring points with the mom’s because you never know when you’ll need a favor—a house of five who I hoped would give it the passing grade. You never know with kids.
So did it pass? Oh yes. With flying colors. In fact it just may have been dubbed the best mac and cheese they’d eaten and put me in the ranks of Spongebob and iCarly. Watch out Hollywood here I come.
Chicken Divan Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 5 tablespoons butter divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 4 cups cold whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups 16 ounces Wisconsin Fontina Cheese, shredded
- ½ cup 2 ounces Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 2 cups boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
- 1 pound frozen broccoli spears thawed
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain noodles and set aside.
- In large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and curry powder, whisk well, cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant and flour starts to smell nutty.
- Add cold milk and whisk well to combine. Bring mixture to boil and continue to whisk occasionally as mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper, add cheeses and stir until melted.
- Add chicken, broccoli and cooked macaroni to cheese mixture, fold to coat and cook on stovetop over medium heat 5 minutes or until heated through. Pour mixture into buttered 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; add bread crumbs and mix. Top macaroni mixture with buttered bread crumbs and bake 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving.
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