Chicken and Tomatoes Sautéed in Brown Butter and Oregano over English Cheddar Mac-n-Cheese

Prep time 20 minutes/Cook time 25
Makes 4 servings


Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless large chicken
breasts, cut down the middle to
make four portions
3 large Roma tomatoes cut into ½
inch cubes
½ t dried oregano
¼ t dried basil
4 T salted
butter 2 T
canola oil Salt
and Pepper
1 C rough chopped flat leaf
Italian parsley
½ to ¾ C chicken broth
1½ C grated fine English
Cheddar 2 C milk
2T flour
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ C of elbow macaroni


Direction:

  • Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water, add salt, and bring to boil. Then reduce to low and keep covered.
  • Preheat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter and oil and let butter melt. Pat the chicken breasts dry, and place in the hot oil/butter. Season with salt and pepper. Let sear on the first side for about 2 – 3 minutes, until browned on the one side. You will see the butter begin to brown slightly. That’s a good thing. Turn the chicken over and let it sear for about it minute then add the tomatoes, the oregano, a little more salt and pepper and stir until the tomatoes are incorporated into the oil mixture. Add the broth. Reduce heat to medium low and when the steam stops, cover with lid. (Leave a little gap on the side with the lid askew. You don’t want it completely covered.) Let it simmer while you cook the pasta and make the cheese sauce, about 10 minutes or so. About 2 minutes before you are ready to plate the meal, add ¼ C of the parsley over the top. Don’t stir in, just let it sit on top so the flavors can meld.
  • For the cheese sauce. Take a saucepan and preheat over low heat, and drop in 2 T of butter. When it is melted add the flour and whisk vigorously for about 45 seconds on low to cook out the flour taste. Pull off the stove. Add the milk and whisk to incorporate. Place back on the heat, and raise the heat to medium and whisk until it barely begins to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Again, taste it. It will need more than you think. Add the grated cheese, whisk until melted. Cover and set aside.
  • When you start the cheese sauce, get the water back to a boiling, add the pasta, and let cook all the way, about 7 minutes or so. Drain and add pasta to the cheese sauce and stir. Reheat carefully if at all. You don’t want it to burn or get pasty and thick.
  • To plate, cover the bottom of a pasta place with about ½ C of the macaroni and cheese mixture. Place a chicken breast on top of that. Ladle over the top the tomato and broth mixture. Cover with the remaining parsley to garnish.



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