Monday, June 10, 2013
Cheddar Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta
Well, hello again! It's been almost a week- I do apologize. My life has been chaotic this past week. Let's just say if you watch World News with Diane Sawyer tonight you will see ME! They filmed a segment about a project I did with my class this past week and they told me it'll air tonight (or early this week if anything big and breaking happens in the world between now and then). It's about the Briarwood Elementary project I posted about a few days ago, so make sure you check it out. On top of that I also had a day of newspaper reporters in my classroom, a field trip to Philly, and two special 5th grade events. Needless to say I'm lucky I'm still standing! Cooking happened last week but blogging did not. I apologize. One of the great things I made this past week was this pasta, and boy was it good.
When Cassie posted this recipe I knew it would eventually grace my dinner table. It's made of all things I love, so it was only natural that I would get around to making it. I also think this recipe is pinned on just about everyone's Pinterest board, so it's definitely popular. Now that I've made it I can say it's popular for good reason. John and I both loved this- we were fighting over who'd get the leftovers for lunch and I was wishing I hadn't halved the original. (Btw- John won- then left them on the counter so they weren't eaten by either of us... grrrr!) With the exception of the littlest member of the Stephanie Cook's kitchen this dinner was a huge hit- he refused to even taste it but that's pretty typical for him lately. We will definitely be having this again!
Source: Cassie Craves
1 pound mostaccioli or other short pasta
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 packet ranch dressing mix
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water; drain, return to pot, and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon drippings from the pan.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the reserved bacon drippings, then add the chicken to the same skillet. Cook until tender, no longer pink, and slightly browned.
4. Sprinkle the flour and ranch dressing mix over the chicken, stirring to coat evenly. Stir in the milk, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese and half of the reserved bacon; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
5. Add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta and stir to combine. Serve each plate of pasta with more bacon sprinkled over the top. Green onions would also be a delicious topping.