Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese

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I recently realized I hadn't made mac and cheese in  a very long time. That needed to be remedied immediately. Tom is a huge fan of chicken cordon bleu, but I don't really like it in it's usual presentation. I figured this combination of the two recipes would make us both happy.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese
Source: Iowa Girl Eats
Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients:

    • 1 large chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
    • 1/2 lb. deli ham, sliced thick and cut into cubes
    • 10 oz. penne pasta
    • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
    • 1 cup milk, divided
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
    • 1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, for garnish
Directions:
1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
2. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Add the ham to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through and lightly crispy. Add the ham to the plate with the chicken.  Set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.
5. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of milk. Add to the skillet over medium high heat and slowly whisk in the remaining milk and then the chicken broth. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and is bubbly.
7. Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of each of the cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir in the cheese and ham. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of each cheese on top.
9. Set the oven to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the top layer of cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
10. Allow to set for 10 minutes before serving so the cheese has time to thicken back up. Sprinkle parsley on top the dish and serve.


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