Jessica went out to dinner with a friend last night and left me home to fend for myself. Fortunately she had defrosted some chicken thighs for me to experiment… I mean cook with. When Jessica is around I cook healthier, she reminds me to use less fat, and to make normal (read: human-sized) portions. However, when she’s not around, well, all hell breaks loose.

I stared into the fridge and saw the chicken, I also saw chicken broth, milk, tons of cream cheese, a block of cheddar cheese, parmesan, bacon… it was obvious what had to be done: mac and cheese with deep fried chicken IN IT!

I began by roughly cutting the chicken into about 1-inch chunks. I seasoned flour, breadcrumbs, and eggs, battered, and began deep-frying the nuggets in vegetable oil. At the same time, I cooked off the remaining elbows from a box of Barilla. After straining the pasta, I shredded lots of cheese, and minced onion and garlic. I also chopped up some bacon and started rendering it in the same pot I boiled the elbows.

Once the bacon was getting crisp, I removed the very fatty pieces, and added in the onion and garlic. Then once soft, I threw in a tablespoon or so of butter (for good measure), and started sprinkling in my remaining seasoned flour (from the chicken). I made a blonde roux.

It was looking awesome.

Then I added in a few tablespoons of whole milk, and had a smooth roux working. Then I extended it with chicken broth until soupy. Next it was cheese time… This was a whole new recipe for me. I tossed in 4oz of cream cheese and the cheddar cheese (about a cup, shredded). It was looking good, but I needed to take things up a notch. I sprinkled in a bunch of mustard powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Yes! Now it’s on.

The orange hue was mesmerizing. Cream cheese in mac and cheese was new for me, but it really added a smoothness that I’ve never achieved before. And, of course, a homemade roux is always best.

I folded in the elbows followed by the chicken nuggets. I considered eating it. But, there was more to be done. I transferred it all into an 8×8″ baking dish and covered it with the remaining breadcrumbs (from the chicken) and then added lots of shredded parmesan on top. I wasn’t worried about raw chicken in the breadcrumbs, since I cooked it at 450 deg F for 15 minutes. The fat in this dish was far more dangerous.

Behold what came out:

Fried Chicken Mac & Cheese

OH… MY… GOD. This is a winner. It’s the best of fried chicken and mac and cheese in one dish of deliciousness. Remember that crazy sandwich I loved, which btw, I eventually did try? This is it, on a plate. If you have an hour to spend cooking, do this. It is fun and nuts and wonderful.

posted by Lon at 03:17 PM Filed under Un-Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.