Thyme Chicken Mac N' Cheese

I have to say this is probable the best I've made yet.  The thyme was so deliciously fragrant when it came out of the oven, and the cayenne added just the perfect hint of spice.  And the Havarti... mmmm... :)

We had my sister and brother-in-law for dinner last night, and I think we were all in agreement that this was pretty good. :)  I definitely like the idea of beginning with a roux, as I think it helps make it just that much creamier.  So good!

8 ou elbows macaroni
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 c milk
1 T spicy mustard
1/4 c onion, chopped
4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
2 t thyme
Salt & pepper
1 t cayenne
4 ou shredded havarti
8 ou shredded sharp cheddar (plus about 1/4-1/2 c for the top)
1 c shredded chicken
1-2 tomatos, sliced

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan melt the butter, then add the flour and whisk until combined.  Whisk in the milk and mustard and onion and leave over medium heat until thickened. Whisking occasionally.

Add the thyme, salt and pepper, cayenne, havarti, cheddar and mushrooms and mix until cheese is melted.  Then mix in the chicken and cooked noodles.

Pour macaroni mixture into a prepared greased baking dish.  Place the tomato slices on top and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and begins to lightly brown.


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