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Tuesday: Baked Chicken and Speedy Mac n Cheese

Basic and tasty - this dinner just works. I use quinoa elbows for the mac - we really like them!
NOTE: Sock away two of the chicken breasts for use later in the week.
Serves: 4     Prep:15     Cooking: 35


For the Chicken
6 chicken breasts, de-boned, skin-on
1 lemon, quartered
1 onion, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2-3 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
For the Mac
1 tablespoon kosher salt
12 oz pasta such as rotini or elbows
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour2 cups low-fat (2%) milk
4 oz grated cheddar(1 ¼ cups)
4 oz grated Swiss or Gruyere (1 ¼ cups)
1 ½  teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1.5 oz finely grated Parmesan(1 ½ cups)
For the Snap Peas
8 oz snap peas
1 teaspoon kosher salt


Prep Opportunity
Marinate the chicken. In a zip-top sealable bag, combine olive oil
Salt pepper and herbs. Add chicken, seal and mix around to coat the chicken. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 400º.
Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
Add salt to the pot and cook pasta according to package instructions until just tender. Drain.
Place chicken, lemon and onion in a baking dish or on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes (depending upon the size) or an internal temperature of 165º is reached.
Meanwhile, over medium heat, melt the butter in a 12”ovenproof skillet, I like cast iron.
Whisk in the flour until well combined -10 seconds.
Whisk in the milk, in a steady stream and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens - 2 minutes.
Add the Cheddar, Swiss, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme and whisk until the cheese is melted and is smooth- 2 minutes.
Stir in the drained pasta and coat with the cheese sauce.
Remove from the heat, just slide to a cool burner, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly over the top. Wait for chicken to finish baking.
Set a covered pan with snap peas, salt and ¾ cup water over medium heat. Simmer for 4 minutes. Drain.
Remove chicken from the oven and heat the broiler.
Position a rack about 3-4” from the broiler and broil until the top is browned, 3 - 4 minutes.
Serve chicken with mac and snap peas – and, if you are at my house, nothing touching!! Oy