ORLANDO, Fla. — Mac ‘N Cheese: Just the sound of it induces whiplash. Oh, but wait. There’s more.
“It’s cheddar cheese, it’s bacon, it’s chicken, it’s pasta, cream. You can’t go wrong,” said Chef Cory Hoekstra of City Works Eatery & Pour House at Disney Springs, smiling.
Chef prefers a particular type of pasta.
“The Cavatappi pasta I find it best for any sort of cream-based sauce,” he said.
Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘N Cheese by City Works at Disney Springs
- Chicken breast- 6 oz.
- Bacon strips – 2 each
- Heavy cream – 8 oz.
- Smoked cheddar cheese, shredded – 4 oz.
- Cavatappi pasta, cooked – 8 oz.
- Salt and pepper – to taste
- Chopped parsley – 1 tsp.
- Grill or oven-bake a salt and pepper seasoned 6 oz. chicken breast to 165 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest before dicing it into ½-inch cubes.
- Starting with a cold pan, cook bacon strips low and slow. When the bacon starts to curl, use your tongs to turn it to the other side. Continue flipping and turning so the bacon cooks evenly. When finished, place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain the grease.
- Bring water to a boil and cook Cavatappi pasta in salted water until cooked. Drain and reserve.
- In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium/high heat, add the chicken and bacon that was cooked in previous step until chicken and bacon begin to brown.
- Add cream and let simmer until it is reduced by half; the cream should thicken as it reduces.
- Add your smoked cheddar cheese, or any shredded cheese of your choosing. Bring to a simmer and stir in cheese throughout cream sauce.
- If needed, reheat pasta in boiling salted water for 10 seconds. Drain off pasta water.
- Add pasta to the sauce, cook 1 minute. Season, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Plate your pasta in the center of a bowl.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, or Parmesan if you want that extra layer of cheese.