March 17, 2011

Grilled Chicken, Bacon Mac and Cheese

Holy sun Batman! I don't know about you, but the past couple of days here in Michigan have been beautiful! The sun has been shining, the temperatures have been rising, and I've even seen little flower buds starting to pop their way out. I'm thinking about dragging out the patio furniture and making a giant pitcher of lemonade. But I need some Spring treats. What should I make?

Anywho, on with the food. I've told you all about my love affair with pasta. I've shared pasta dishes that I am over the moon for, Mushroom Herb Mac and Cheese and Lemon Alfredo. I bring to you another glorious pasta dish.

This one has everything that I love and want eat on a regular basis. Cheese, bacon, and chicken. The chicken is seasoned with paprika, a great flavor in the background. It would be easy to double this recipe and stick a tray in the freezer for a night when you're not too keen on cooking but are craving some comfort food. It also reheats well, I had it for lunch the next day and I might say that it was even better! I love it when that happens. 

A few notes on what I did: I used Percornio Romano and Parmesan cheese (it was what I had on hand). I also cooked the bacon on the stove, not in the oven as suggested. Either method should be fine!

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine

 6 slices good-quality smoky bacon, such as apple-wood smoked bacon
Salt and pepper
1 pound whole wheat, short-cut pasta
2 pieces skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
4 tablespoons butter
1 half of an onion, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced
2 rounded tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cloudy apple cider or chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (I used Parmesan)
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (I used Pecorino Romano)
Chopped flat-leaf parsley or celery greens, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 °F. 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 boil, salt it, add pasta and cook 1 minute less then instructions indicate, or until just shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.

While pasta is working, heat grill pan or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle chicken with EVOO to coat lightly then season evenly with paprika, salt and pepper. Grill 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 brown and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in cider (or stock), then add milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheese 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 parsley or celery greens.

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

Link up at It's a Keeper.


  1. Ooo, this looks good. I've had way too much sugar today and this looks like it would hit the spot!

  2. Very nice. I have been craving pasta lately!!
    Weather is beautiful here. I'm so happy to see the sun!! It might get up to 80 degrees tomorrow!!

  3. How can you possibly go wrong with cheese, chicken, and bacon? I don't think you can...I can't wait to try this!!

  4. Cheese + bacon + chicken = happy tummy.

  5. Oh my goodness! This pasta looks so good. I love a good pasta and with chicken, cheese and bacon it must be good!

  6. So many good flavours and ingredients! My family would love this for dinner.

  7. To This Woman Cooks:

    You are a recipient of "The Lovely Blog Award". I adore your blog and appreciate all the hard work and love you put into your recipes! To see the award please visit

    Please pass this award along to 15 other deserving bloggers. Congrats!

    The Souper

  8. Wow! This looks amazing! Thanks for linking up to the It's a Keeper Thursday blog hop! Be sure to come back next week and link something new!

    Christina @ It's a Keeper


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