Everyone loves classic Mac’N’Cheese! So easy to make and so delicious! When you Google this recipe, you can find many adopted versions of it. I love to play around with new creative recipes, and tried quite a few of them. After mixing all different ingredients together and trying new techniques, I came up with my own version of my favorite delicious and cheesy Mac’N’Cheese. Instead of using classic Elbow Macaroni, I love to use Penne Pasta. Grilled Chicken Cutlets, dipped in eggs and bread crumbs, bring so much flavor to the dish. And, of course, I use lots of sharp Cheddar!!! So lets get started!
Ingredients for Chicken:
- 2 slices of chicken cutlets
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
Ingredients for Pasta:
- 1/2 pound of Penne Pasta
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar
1. Wash the chicken cutlets and pat dry them. If you have any extra fat or bloody spots on the chicken, cut it out. If the pieces are too thick, you can slice them into thinner pieces, so it will cook faster.
2. Put 1 egg in a separate dip plate (or a bowl) and whisk it. In another dip plate put 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs.
3. Take a piece of chicken and dip it into the eggs first, then dip into bread crumbs. Make sure that your the cutlets are fully covered with breadcrumbs on both sides. Repeat the same with all other pieces.
4. Put a pan on a low/medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Fry the chicken cutlets for about 2-3 min on each side. The time depends on how thick your slices are. If you are not sure that the chicken is ready, take a knife and cut one piece in half. If the meat has pink color inside, cook a little bit longer. It has to be cooked through but still tender.
5. When the chicken is ready, put it on a plate and pat dry it to remove extra fat. Slice the cutlets into an inch long pieces. Now, you can put them aside and begin to work on pasta and sauce.
6. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Put pasta into water and cook for 11-12 min until tender, then drain it and put aside. It is not necessary to salt the water now, we will do it later.
7. For the sauce, put a sauce pan on a low-medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk thoroughly for about a minute, so you won’t have any clumps.
8. Gradually add 2 cups of milk and continue to whisk. Cook for about 7 minutes until thickened.
9. Remove the mixture from the heat and add 1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar. Whisk it again until it has a smooth thick consistency.
10. In a deep bowl put pasta, chicken and the cheese sauce and mix it together. Add some salt and pepper and mix it again.
11. Put everything in a prepared greased pan 11×7. Sprinkle with extra shredded sharp Cheddar and bread crumbs (Note: to sprinkle bread crumbs, I mix 3 tablespoons of seasoned bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter).
12. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bake the pasta uncovered for 20 min. It will have golden color and crust on top. Delicious!