How to make Southern Cajun chicken mac and cheese

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Cajun seasoning is versatile, going with just about anything. From Cajun-flavored chowder to macaroni and cheese, this seasoning blend will work perfectly with almost any dish. All you need to do to spice up favorite dishes is to throw in a few teaspoons. Be wary, though, because some Cajun seasoning is pretty spicy. It might be wise to give the recipe below a test run before serving it for a dinner party.
This recipe uses classic elbow macaroni because it invokes childhood memories of mac and cheese. If you don't have any, feel free to use any shape you have in the pantry. Cavatapi pasta will add a fun twist to the classic, whereas penne adds a nice bite and wagon wheels are fun for kids. Have some fun and experiment.
Cooktop Cove
Southern Cajun chicken mac and cheese
15 minutes
30 minutes
45 minutes
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded provolone cheese
2 cups shredded chicken
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
Chopped chives (as garnish)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. Once the bacon is browned, remove the bacon pieces to a small bowl. Discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease.
Add the butter to the grease, along with the yellow onion, green bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour and cook until the mixture is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the whole milk with a slow, steady stream. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and cook until it is thickened.
Add the cheddar and provolone cheese one handful at a time, stirring to melt and combine the cheese before adding the next handful.
Add the shredded chicken and Cajun seasoning and stir to coat.
Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked noodles.
Serve into individual bowls and top each bowl with the cooked bacon bits and chives.
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