White Cheddar Pasta with Chicken

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To see the original recipe, check out Homemade by Holman. Based on feedback from others that tried this, I modified the recipe and made it .5 times bigger to feed 10-12 people. I have been into White Cheddar lately and by that I mean the grocery store brand of 50 cent box of White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. Not convinced this is a true representative of White Cheddar pasta, I sought a far more delicious and gourmet version. While this turned out very tasty, it still did not have the cheddar sharpness I was looking for. A friend suggested adding some gorgonzola. Very interesting! 

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta (I used penne)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1% milk)
  • 1 T fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 T fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions: 
Place chicken in a freezer size Ziploc bag. Mix together all the ingredients above and pour over the chicken. Place in refrigerator overnight. To cook the chicken, I used my Pampered Chef Grill Pan to cook the chicken, but you can use a regular pan. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and set aside.

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

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