Green Chile Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli
I’m back! I’ve been on a 16 month hiatus from the blogging world, not because I decided to quit blogging, but because sometimes life just gets in the way of life.In the summer of 2022 I began making plans to live in Italy for a couple of months to get my dual citizenship. My partner and I spent February and March in Italy, a life changing experience that we’ll never forget. (That’s me with my hosts Michele and Maria in Rionero in Vulture, a small town in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy.)Then we made a decision to buy a small beach bungalow in Puerto Rico where my partner still has extended family. We spent two months doing a gut remodel, which was exhausting but sooooo worth it. Those two adventures snowballed into an action packed year that left me no time for blogging. But I’m back, and excited to share both recipes and travel posts as I’ve done for the past 17 years. First up, this green chile mac ‘n cheese, which turned out even better than I expected.I almost always roast a chicken whole, as it gives me dinner, a carcass for making stock, and enough leftover chicken for a stir fry, salad or pasta dish. And for some reason, I had a hankering for mac ‘n cheese. Not just any old kids’ mac ‘m cheese out of a box, but a robust flavored, definitely adult worthy version.It comes together quickly, and can be put in the fridge to bake later in the day when you’re ready for dinner.
- ½ pound short pasta
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup diced green chiles
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the pasta according the package directions until al dente. Scoop the pasta out of the cooking water and set aside, then blanche the broccoli in the pasta water for 2 minutes; drain.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour, then cook for a couple of minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in the cream cheese and cheddar until fully melted.
- Add the chiles, chicken, broccoli, salt, and pepper and mix well. Spoon into a greased 9 x 12 glass baking dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Drizzle the olive oil over the bread crumbs.
- Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly and the top is browned and crispy, about 30 minutes.