Roasted Chicken + Pesto Mac 'N Cheese

Roasted Chicken + Pesto Mac 'N Cheese

www.theinspiredhome.com
SERVINGS

Serves 8 to 10

SPECIAL TOOLS

Dutch Oven
Grater
Food Processor
Whisk
Cassoulet Baking Dish
Knife
Garlic Mincer


INGREDIENTS

For the Mac 'N Cheese:

  • 1 trimmed and roughly chopped rotisserie chicken, bones and skin discarded
  • 1 pound of boiled and cooked gigli noodles
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 small diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of finely minced garlic
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups of whole milk
  • 6 ounces of shredded fontina cheese
  • 6 ounces of shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 cup of crushed Ritz® Crackers
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to tast

For the Pesto:

  • ½ cup of packed basil leaves
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. For the Cheese Sauce: In a large pot on high heat add in the butter and sauté the onions and garlic until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Next, sprinkle in the flour and mix until combined. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat until thick (think alfredo sauce).
  4. Whisk in 4 ounces of each cheese until the sauce is smooth and then adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  5. For the Pesto: Add the basil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and pine nuts to a food processor and pulse on high until it is smooth.
  6. Next, drizzle in the olive oil while on high speed until mixed in. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Add the rotisserie chicken, cooked noodles, cheese sauce, and salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix until combined.
  8. Transfer the noodle mixture to a large cassoulet dish and evenly add on dollops of the pesto. Top off with the remaining shredded cheese and then finally the crushed up crackers.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
  10. Serve hot!