Dinner Last Night: Chicken and Broccolini Mac and Cheese

{this isn't my photo, but the dish looked very similar}

I can't believe how long it has been since I did a dinner last night post.  Can you tell we've been throwing together easy dinners or eating out for the past...uh...few months?  

Call it nesting, or what have you, but I saw this recipe in my most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living and decided it was an easy fix for a Monday night meal.  Chicken and Broccolini Mac and Cheese, fulfilling the ever-present mac and cheese craving, while throwing in a little veggies and protein.  Voila!

Chicken-and-Broccolini Mac and Cheese
Active Time: 30 minutes. Total Time: 55 minutes.  Serves 4-6.

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
2 cups whole milk (I used 1%)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves, cut in half horizontally
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz. wide egg noodles (I used rigatoni)
12 oz. broccolini or broccoli florets
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush a 3-quart broilerproof baking dish with oil.  Bring milk to a simmer in a pot.  Add chicken; simmer until cooked, 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Remove pot from heat; whisk in mustard and cream cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

2. Shred chicken.  Cook noodles in a pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes.  Add broccolini; cook until noodles and broccolini are al dente, 2 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.  Drain noodles and broccolini; toss with chicken, sauce, pasta water, and cheddar.  Transfer to baking dish.  Toss breadcrumbs with oil; sprinkle over casserole.  Cover with parchment-lined foil; bake 20 minutes.  Uncover casserole; increase heat to broil.  Cook until top is golden brown in places and breadcrumbs are crisp, about 4-5 minutes.

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