Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Fontina, Parmesan
When I was young and still in need of a babysitter when Mom and Dad would go out for a night on the town, my sister and I could choose what we wanted for dinner. I’m sure you can guess what menu item was tops on our list: macaroni & cheese, of course.
Our other kid-friendly favorite was creamy Chicken Broccoli Casserole, the perfect vehicle to get my little sister, the broccoli- averse eater, to partake of the tender green crowns, thanks to being draped in cheesy sauce.
Combining my two childhood favorites is pretty much a no-brainer and is a dinner that hits all of the major food groups: vegetables, protein, carbs, and cheese. Cheese is a food group right? Yes, I think so too.
Chicken and Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups cold whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (16 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 pound frozen broccoli spears, thawed
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain noodles and set aside.
In large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and curry powder, whisk well, cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant and flour starts to smell nutty.
Add cold milk and whisk well to combine. Bring mixture to boil and continue to whisk occasionally as mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper, add cheeses and stir until melted.
Add chicken, broccoli and cooked macaroni to cheese mixture, fold to coat and cook on stovetop over medium heat 5 minutes or until heated through. Pour mixture into buttered 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; add bread crumbs and mix. Top macaroni mixture with buttered bread crumbs and bake 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes before serving.
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