BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese with Leeks
- 1 pkg (375 g) Catelli Smart® Macaroni
- 450 g Armstrong® White Old Cheddar Cheese or Yellow Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) Butter, divided
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) All-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) 2% milk
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) Salt and pepper, divided
- 3 Leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 2 cups (500 mL) Cooked chicken, shredded
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) Barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) Fresh chives, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60 mL) boiled pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter in large skillet set over medium heat; cook garlic, for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Stir in flour; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of both salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Stir in half of the cheese until melted.
4Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in separate skillet set over medium heat; cook leeks, and remaining salt and pepper for 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly softened.
Stir together chicken and barbecue sauce. Stir macaroni into cheese sauce until well coated; fold in chicken mixture and leeks. If sauce is too thick, stir in enough of the reserved boiled pasta water for desired consistency.
Transfer to a greased 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with chives. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
• For an easier and quicker preparation, use rotisserie cooked chicken.
• Use your favourite barbecue sauce to suit your taste: Try classic style, smoky or spicy.