The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Cheesy Chicken Bake

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Level: Easy

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Description

Cheesy Chicken Bake is the result of my intense craving for mac and cheese and my need to use up some leftover roasted chicken. The result was a sharp cheese blend with tender chicken under a crumbly, golden crust. Although I did not originally put broccoli into the meal, this one-dish dinner would be even better, in my opinion, with some blanched broccoli added into the mixture. Feel free to mix up the cheeses to your taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Rotini Pasta
  • 5 Tablespoons Butter, Divided Use
  • 1 whole Small Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ cups Grated Swiss Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Button Mushrooms, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 whole Roasted Chicken Breast, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Plain Bread Crumbs

Preparation

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, drain the pasta. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the melted butter and allow to cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning the garlic.
4. Add the flour to the pan with the onion and garlic. Stir to combine. Allow to cook for 2 minutes in order to cook off the flour taste.
5. Slowly add the milk to the pan stirring constantly. You need to continually stir in order to remove any lumps. After adding the milk, repeat the process with the chicken broth. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne to the mixture and stir.
6. Add the cheeses into the cream mixture and stir to combine until melted and thick.
7. In a large bowl, combine the noodles, cheese mixture, mushrooms (or other desired vegetables) and chicken.
8. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter (put it in the microwave and heat for around 30 seconds). Once melted, combine it with the plain breadcrumbs.
9. Place the pasta mixture into a 9×9 baking dish or into small ramekins. Top with breadcrumb mixture.
10. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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