One of my favorite single gal concoctions is to mix leftover General Tso’s Chicken and macaroni and cheese. So tonight, in collusion with a fellow culinary adventurer, I made this casserole featuring homemade mac and cheese, General’s Chicken, and broccoli.

Ingredients:General's Mac 2

1/4 cup butter
2 tbs flour
2 cups of 1% milk plus a little
1 tsp ground mustard
4 oz shredded 2% cheddar cheese
4 oz shredded colby jack cheese
16 oz bowtie pasta
8 oz bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 lb of chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 package Simply Asia General Tso’s Sauce
1 tbs olive oil

How I Made It:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large casserole dish with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to the directions, adding the frozen broccoli for the last 4 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, brown the chicken lightly in olive oil. When it’s cooked through, add the General Tso’s Sauce and stir to be sure the chicken is coated in sauce.  Cook over low heat while you prepare the cheese sauce.

In the pasta pot (now empty of the pasta and broccoli), melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk until thoroughly blended.  Slowly add 2 cups of milk, whisking continuously for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened. Whisk in the mustard, then the cheese in batches until you have a smooth sauce.  It might be too thick, in which case add a little more milk (1/4 cup or less).

Add the pasta and broccoli back to the pot and stir to coat it all thoroughly with cheese sauce.  Transfer half the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.  Layer the General’s Chicken on top, and then add the remaining macaroni and cheese.  Sprinkle a little cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

How It Turned Out:

Yummy, but not quite as good as the inspiration.  I imagine that my attempts to lighten the casserole — not breading the chicken, using low fat cheese, adding broccoli — all diminshed the guilty pleasure aspect of the late night single gal version.  But it was good, and I’ll probably make it again.

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