Grilled Hawthorne Kalbi Chicken and Tillamook Stove Top Mac n Cheese
The Lady adapted their recipe as follows:
Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 15 minutes, Total time: 30 minutes
4 Kalbi Marinated Chicken Thighs, grilled
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 large elephant garlic clove
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup Half n Half
1 teaspoon deli-style mustard
1 pound grated 3 year Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cup of frozen peas.
Grill chicken thighs. (The Lady buys the Kalbi Marinated Chicken at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer Meat Counter, which The Man and I find to be quite delish.) Set aside to cool and then chop into bite-size pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and stir well. Cook according to the instructions on the pasta box. Drain it and set it aside. Do not rinse. The starch holds the cheese better on the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt the butter for the sauce in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, being careful not to scorch the butter. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until the translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. The Lady sprinkled the veggies with celery seeds before sautéing.
Add the flour, and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
Slowly add the milk and half n half, a little at a time, stirring constantly to avoid lumping. Once the flour and milk are completely combined, stir in the heavy whipping cream. Keep the mixture at a simmer (not at a high boil) until it thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the mustard, cheese and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.
In a large heavy bottom skillet set over medium-high heat, get the pan very hot. Add the olive oil and when it begins just to smoke, add the drained cooked noodles. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles. Toss thoroughly and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until you have approximately 15% of the mixture golden brown.
Add the chopped chicken and the frozen peas. Toss and serve.
You don’t need to cook the peas in advance. The heat of the dish will cook them enough for taste.