This meal is kid and husband approved – and is a delicious, healthy alternative to boxed shells and cheese and frozen chicken nuggets. I long savored Velveeta shells and cheese and would serve it often, since it is such a “quick and easy” side. I feel cheated now that I’ve discovered it takes the same amount of time to make homemade macaroni and cheese – without the processed ingredients (like actual cheese and not “cheese product”…*shudder*). My method with this meal combination is to fry the nuggets first and throw them in the oven at about 200 degrees to keep them warm – then wipe down the frying pan and start the roux for the macaroni.
Cut chicken into chunks and season with salt and pepper if desired.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. In a steep bowl, combine bread crumbs and seasoning. Prior to dredging, heat a skillet over medium heat.
Here is how I set up my countertop for the dredging process: a plate with the chicken on the far right, then the bowl with egg, the bowl with crumbs, a small prep dish (explained in next step) and last a plate for the dredged nuggets. Put some of the breading mixture into the small prep dish (about ½ cup).
Pick up a chicken chunk with your right hand and dip it in the egg, allowing excess to fall off, and drop the chicken into the steep bowl. I can usually fit about 3 or 4 chicken chunks, then, using your left hand, get some crumbs from the prep dish and sprinkle them over the chicken – turning and coating evenly. Remove and plate.
Repeat this process with all the chicken.
Add coconut oil to skillet and melt. Add chicken to pan but don’t crowd – fry in multiple batches if need be. Cook at least 4-5 minutes on each side – but a thermometer is really a necessity here! Cook until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
7oz. (or the measurement for 4 servings from your package) whole wheat macaroni noodles, cooked to package directions
2 tbsp. organic butter or buttery spread
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 cup milk (whole, skim or almond)
4 oz. cheese (or 1 cup - sometimes I like to use a blend of different cheeses, sometimes I like all extra sharp cheddar – just depends what mood you’re in)
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
Add flour and whisk until all butter is absorbed by the flour. Increase heat to high, add milk and mustard and whisk constantly until mixture starts to bubble. Turn heat back down to medium and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens.
Reduce heat to low and add cheese – stirring until it has melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Add in noodles and combine well.
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