Around the World in Chicken Week 1: Easy Adult Macaroni & Cheese

 

As I mentioned before heading off to Turkey, I decided to choose one food every year and find 50 different recipes from 50 different cultures, in great part to mix up what we’re eating and become more creative in our kitchen (especially during the monotonous winter months when Bishkek has cabbage and cabbage and potatoes and carrots).  This week’s experiment: Bohemian Millennial Adult Macaroni and Cheese with Thyme Chicken and Tomatoes.  I’ll argue that Bohemian Millennial – the young professionals who reside in cheapside apartments in up-and-coming NY neighborhoods, drink red wine with their local bodega burritos and always seem to know the newest indie coffee shop are a culture unto themselves.  In short, E was sick, everything in our freezer melted during the month we were away, and our kitchen was looking a bit bare.  So, here you are: Easy Adult Macaroni and Cheese.

Ingredients:

For the Pasta Pot:

  • Pasta (your choice; we only had shell pasta at home)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper

For the topping:

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken
  • 3-5 cherry tomatoes/person
  • thyme, red pepper, other spices as you wish
  • 1 tsp olive oil

For the cheese:

  • 1/4 cup grated cheese*
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 raw egg

*I used white toast cheese, as that was all we had in the refrigerator.  This would have been better with some crumbled blue cheese or sharp cheddar (if you choose to use curry and pepper in place of the thyme).

Instructions:

  1. Bring water for pasta to a boil. When it comes to a boil, add a dash of salt.
  2. Thinly slice onions and put them in the pasta pot.
  3. Add pasta and pepper or curry
  4. Chop up your chicken breast into 1/2-1″ cubes
  5. When the pasta is 10 minutes from finished heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan
  6. To the pan add your chicken, thyme, black pepper, a dash of salt, and other spices.
  7. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the pan.
  8. Periodically flip the chicken.
  9. As the chicken is cooking, wash and chop the spinach.
  10. When the pasta is almost finished stir in the chopped spinach.  Close the top and let sit for 2 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, grate cheese into a large bowl.  Add butter, 1 egg (I find this gives it a better consistency), a dash of salt, and either thyme/black pepper or curry/red pepper.
  12. Beat the mixture together with a fork.
  13. Drain the pasta and immediately (gently!) mix it into the cheese mixture (do this while the pasta is still very hot to ensure the egg is cooked)
  14. Serve and add chicken and tomato topping.

Turnout: 7/10.  It would have tasted better with fresh grated ginger and 1/2 tsp curry powder.

 

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