Southern Style Mac n’ Cheese with Chipotle Chicken

I love macaroni and cheese! It’s one of those wonderful comfort foods that never disappoints!

The lovely thing about a proper southern mac n’ cheese, is that it has a lot of flavor – it’s not just cheese and noodles – it’s onion, nutmeg, and worcestershire with a whole lot of other goodness. My personal addition to this classic dish is shredded chicken simmered in tomato and chipotle.

It’s great in the winter as a meal, or perfect in the summer for an outdoor barbeque. Also I should note, John likes to mix the type of cheese he will use, for example one of his favorites to use is a Chipotle Sharp Cheddar, you may want to try it out!

Southern Style Mac n’ Cheese – 8-10 servings
2 chicken breasts
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Cholula Chipotle
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 lb (8 oz) cavatappi
Unsalted butter
7 oz extra-sharp cheddar, cut into 1/2inch cubes
6 oz grated extra sharp cheddar
2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2/3 cup sour cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup grated onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9′ X 13′ baking dish and set aside.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add chicken breasts and cook for about 30 minutes, or until fully done. Cool on cutting board, and shred using a fork. In a small saute pan, bring diced tomatoes and chipotle to simmer over medium-high heat. Add shredded chicken breast and cook until sauce has thickened, and chicken is fully coated, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook halfway through, only 3 or 4 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to the prepared baking dish, stir in the cubed cheddar cheese, shredded chipotle chicken and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour, mustard, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Add the sour cream and eggs then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the half and half, heavy cream, grated onions and Worcestershire. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta, mix well to combine. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the pasta.

Bake until the pasta mixture is set around the edges but a bit loose in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


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