Saturday, July 9, 2011

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken

I love Baylee's posts! She has done a great job and I hope she will add future posts! PLEASE ENCOURAGE HER!!!  She is also on me to take more pictures as I cook.  I get into cooking and completely forget about the camera. Also I can be accident prone, like last night, I dropped the camera into a bowl of chicken and noodles!! Baylee helped make the noodles so she did take lots of pictures. That recipe will be coming soon!

To honor Baylee, I am doing today's post on one of Baylee's favorite macaroni and cheese dishes.  She is all the time asking if I posted it yet.   Here you go Baylee!!!

First off we love macaroni and cheese and as the kids got older, I was able to start to add in onion, bacon, different types of cheeses, or even vegetables, but I have always been in search of super creamy with super taste.  I cannot tell you how often I made mac and cheese and it was bland, looked curded, or was dry! I came across a recipe in a magazine that was for Smoky, Creamy Mac and Cheese. It had bacon, cheddar cheese, Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese, and Velveeta in it so I thought how can it not be creamy with all of these cheeses.  I did have to adapt the recipe since I did not have all of the ingredients and I was looking for a dish that I could use as a main entree. I replaced the bacon with chicken breast and I was incredibly pleased with the outcome.  It was super creamy and cheesy along with being addictive!!  I think we all had seconds. This original recipe was the side dish winner in a Philadelphia Cheese recipe contest.  Just based on the creamy cheesiness of the dish, I can see why it won!! 

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken
2 cups of uncooked pasta  ( I used fusilli as it holds the cheese better)
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
4 oz Velveeta, cut into cubes
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1 cup of chicken, cooked and cut up (I used a large breast and season it well with chicken seasoning)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Panko crumbs
2 tsp butter, melted

Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large saucepan melt butter and stir in flour until smooth.  Gradually add milk and bring to boil. Cook and stir for 1 -2 minutes as sauce thickens. Stir in the cream cheese, Velveeta and cheddar cheese.  Make sure the heat from stove is turned down to ensure that cheese melts well into the sauce. Add in the chicken and transfer to a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Combine the Panko crumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle over top.  Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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