This is amazing, BUT time consuming and lots of dishes. You have been warned! The Bacon Wrapped Chicken was something my friend Tyesha suggested, the broccoli is just simply steamed, but the macaroni and cheese I found on Pinterest which led me here: http://www.macheesmo.com/cast-iron-mac-and-cheese/. So let’s get started…
I started with the noodles. Heat water in a large pot to boiling, then add 1 lb of large macaroni noodles. Boil about 7 ish minutes, till it is not quite done (it will continue cooking when you pour on the cheese sauce and bake it later… I cooked them all the way and they were a little mushy). When they are done, drain them and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the noodles are cooking, cut about 8 oz of bacon (about 6 strips) into small strips, and start cooking that in a 15″ cast iron skillet. Move it around and cook (covered with a screen if you have one) till it is nice and crispy. While that was cooking, I wrapped the chicken breast with a couple strips of bacon and set on a baking sheet (I did mine on a wrack over a baking sheet and I think it was a mistake). Note that you will probably have to remove some of the grease from the bacon while the chicken is cooking, but that’s later anyways. Back to the skillet, when the bacon is done, remove to a plate or bowl lined with a paper towel. Pour out some of the grease so that you have about 1-2 tbsp. left in the skillet, then add the onion and peppers (recipe called for dried adobo peppers or crushed red pepper flakes, but I used 1 hatch green chili because I had it and its yummy). Saute till the onions are tender, and set aside.
While the onions are cooking, work on your cheese sauce. Start by melting 4 tbsp. of butter in a medium sauce pan. Once melted, add 4 tbsp. flour and whisk till there are no lumps. Let it start bubbling up and get a nice tan color (takes about 4-5 mintes). Once tan, slowly add in the 3 C whole milk whisking constantly to be sure there are no lumps and it doesn’t taste like flour. Once the milk is all incorporated, add your cheese (8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese and 8 oz of shredded jack cheese). Add salt and pepper to taste and continue whisking till the cheese is all melted and incorporated. While that is finishing the melting process, add the bacon and noodles to the skillet, then pour the cheese over the top of it all and stir it to combine everything together. Once you are happy with how well it is all incorporated, in a small bowl, mix 1/4 C parmesan and 1/4 C Panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs, and I used about 1/2 C of each because I like the extra crunch).
Put both the skillet and the chicken in the oven for about 30 minutes. While those are baking, cut up some broccoli into bite size florets. Add to a tupperwear thing with some butter (about 4 tbsp. for 1 large head cut up) and a splash of water. Cover and set aside. When the 30 minutes is done, take the mac and cheese out of the oven and set aside to cool a little, but continue cooking the chicken till it is cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked through, turn the oven to broil hi for about 3-5 minutes to get the bacon nice and crispy. Once the mac and cheese is out, microwave the broccoli for about 3 minutes and then toss it to make sure the butter coats all the broccoli florets.
Serve it up with the chicken breast on the plate, with a good scoop of mac and cheese and broccoli as side dishes. Enjoy!
If you do not have a tupperwear thing like me, you can steam the broccoli over the stove when there is about 5 minutes left on the oven timer (before the mac and cheese comes out). In a medium or large sauce pan (depending on how much broccoli you have), add about 1/4″ of water to the bottom. Place your steamer in the pot and then top with the broccoli. Cover and let the water simmer and steam the broccoli. Keep an eye on it and when it is the perfect bright green color, turn off the heat and let it sit with the lit on so it stays warm. NOTE that I have not steamed like this in quite a long time, so the timing is an estimate based on what I used to do…