The Bistro's mac 'n' cheese with grilled chicken

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
The Bistro’s mac ‘n’ cheese with grilled chicken
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Macaroni base


In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.


Heat a medium, heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat until hot. Saute the shallots in the olive oil until lightly colored, then add the heavy cream. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and reduce by half, 8 to 10 minutes.


Whisk in the crumbled cheese until melted and incorporated, then stir in the pasta.


Remove from heat and reserve the base, still in the pan, in a warm place.



Drizzle the chicken breasts with the olive oil, and season each side of each breast with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and rosemary. Grill the chicken over moderate heat until the flesh is firm and the juices run clear, and a thermometer inserted reads 165 degrees. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm until needed.

Mac 'n' cheese assembly


In a medium saute pan, cook the pancetta in the oil over medium-high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes


Strain the pancetta, leaving any fat in the pan.


Heat the pan with the fat over medium-high heat and sprinkle over the bread crumbs.


Saute the bread crumbs until darkened and toasted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain the bread crumbs on a paper towel.


Heat the macaroni base over medium heat until hot, stirring frequently. While the base is heating, slice the chicken into strips.


Stir the chicken into the base, then stir in the crisp pancetta, parsley and white truffle oil, tossing to coat.


Divide the mac ‘n’ cheese among 4 serving bowls and top with the crisp bread crumbs. Serve immediately.

Adapted from the Bistro at Four Points by Sheraton Bakersfield.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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