(Good Things Utah) Get the recipe for this Cajun Chicken with a Sundried Tomato Macaroni and Cheese! Such a scrumptious recipe to make for dinner at home!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. dried pasta 
  • ½ cup butter 
  • ½ cup all purpose flour 
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese* – Shredded 
  • 8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese* – Shredded 
  • 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese* – Shredded 
  • 1 pint Half & Half 
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth 
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream 
  • 3 oz. Sun Dried Tomatoes – Thinly sliced 
  • 2 tbsps. Chef Buhler’s Seasoned Salt, separated. 
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 2 tsp white vinegar 
  • 4 – 6 Chicken Breasts 
  • Your Favorite Blackening or Cajun Seasoning 
  • Green Onions, sliced. 

Instructions:

  • In a large pot, cook your noodles according to package directions until they are just over half way cooked. Once they reach this point, drain and set them aside.
  • In the pot, melt your butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to combine and make a roux. Let this mixture cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Slowly add your half and half to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid making lumps. Once you’ve added all the half and half, add your cream and the chicken stock. Let this mixture come to a simmer and thicken up.
  • Once thickened, add your cheeses in batches and whisk to combine in between each addition. It’s important that you wait until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon before adding the cheese. If the sauce is too thin when adding the cheese, you’ll end up with a grainy sauce full of cheese lumps.
  • Add your sliced sun dried tomatoes, spices, 1 tbsp. of the seasoning salt, vinegar, and pasta. Mix to combine and let the sauce simmer on low for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to stir and scrape the bottom every so often to avoid scorching the sauce. This will thicken up your sauce and finish cooking your pasta so you don’t end up with mushy overcooked pasta.
  • While your mac & cheese is finishing, start the chicken. Take your chicken breasts and season with the remaining seasoned salt and your favorite Cajun blackening seasoning.
  • Heat a sauté pan with 1 tbsp. oil on medium heat and sear your chicken breasts. The seasoning will cause it to go black, that’s why it’s called blackening seasoning. Don’t fear that you’ve burnt it. Turn over half way through. Cook chicken until the center reaches 165 F.
  • Once your mac & cheese and the chicken is done, it’s ready to serve. Garnish with the sliced green onions.
  • You could also grab a rotisserie chicken from the store to use. Shred it up and sprinkle the chicken with the Cajun seasoning before topping the mac & cheese.

*Note on the cheese: It’s important when making sauces with any cheese, to always use fresh shredded. Never use the bagged pre-shredded cheeses. Those cheeses are coated with a powder to prevent the pieces from sticking together. This powder is usually labeled as cellulose and is generally made from sawdust. While completely fine to eat, this power will cause your sauce to go grainy and you won’t get the smooth sauce you crave with mac and cheese.

For more recipes and information by Chef Austin Buhler, visit his Instagram.