Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Swiss, Gruyere, Cheddar
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a luxury dish to me. It’d be awfully nice to sit down to a luxurious dinner of pounded out chicken breasts rolled with ham and Wisconsin Swiss Cheese, then baked and drizzled with a creamy sauce, but who has the luxury of time for all that pounding, rolling, and baking?
Me? I much prefer to cook up all the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu ingredients in a skillet, including lean chicken breasts and salty deli ham, and then envelop them with pasta in an ultra-cheesy sauce.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese highlights three amazing Wisconsin Cheeses: Swiss Cheese, which is classic in Chicken Cordon Bleu; Gruyere Cheese, which is wonderfully nutty and melts like a dream; and White Cheddar Cheese, a must-have in most mac and cheese recipes.
Next time you’re in the mood for a fancy dinner with lots of cheese, but don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing it, give Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese a try!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac and Cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, plus more for baking dish and pan
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound smoked deli ham, sliced 1/2″ thick and cubed
10 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) penne pasta
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese, shredded & divided
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyere Cheese, shredded & divided
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Swiss Cheese, shredded & divided
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 3-quart baking dish; set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Butter the bottom of a large, non-stick skillet. Sauté chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through. Add ham; cook 1-2 minutes more, or until heated through. Remove to plate; set aside. Meanwhile add pasta to large pot of salted, boiling water. Cook according to directions until just under al dente. Drain then set aside.
Melt butter in same large skillet over medium heat; sprinkle in flour and whisk 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in milk. Season with salt and pepper then use wooden spoon and cook, stirring near constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and remove skillet from hot burner.
Add 3/4 cup of each cheese into skillet; stir until smooth. Add cooked chicken, ham, and pasta; stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish; top with remaining cheese and bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
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