Special Chicken

Serves 4-6

     1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
     1 c panko (or breadcrumbs)
     1 tbsp Italian seasoning
     1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
     1 tbsp seasoned salt
     1 tbsp tarragon
     1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
     hot sauce (to taste)
     2 tbsp minced garlic  
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place panko, Italian seasoning, parmesan, salt, and tarragon into a small bowl.
  3. Place olive oil, hot sauce, and garlic into another small bowl.  
  4. Lightly grease a broiler pan
  5. One breast at a time, coat each with the olive oil mixture, then the panko mixture and place on greased broiler pan.
  6. Cook for 25 minutes or until done.

Ben's Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

serves 8

     1 lb thick cut bacon (I usually use Smithfield)
     2-4 tbsp. all purpose flour
     1/2 - 2 c milk (anything but skim will be fine, I usually use 2%)
     2 small bags finely shredded extra sharp cheddar
     1 small bag finely shredded parmesan
     2 small bags finely shredded Colby Jack
     seasoned salt (to taste)
     1 tbsp. ground mustard
     1 tbsp. Frank's Red hot (or any hot sauce other than Tabasco)
     1 c Italian bread crumbs
     1 box macaroni noodles
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Prepare macaroni according to instructions on box.
  3. While macaroni is boiling, prepare bacon.  With 3-4 slices of bacon in hand, cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces over a large skillet.
  4. Cook bacon on medium heat until most of the fat is liquefied, and remove bacon pieces.  Place on a paper towel to the side.  DO NOT DRAIN FAT.
  5. Turn heat to low, and slowly add flour, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet.  Continue to add flour one tsp at a time until the flour becomes a thick paste.  (note: this is called a roux, if you have never made one before, make sure to check youtube to determine when it is ready for the next step.  Just make sure the heat is low enough that you don't burn it and you can't go wrong)
  6. When the roux is ready, slowly add milk to the skillet.  It will bubble and it WILL look like it's going bad, don't worry, it's not.  Stir the milk/roux mixture until the clumps have been incorporated into the milk.  The mixture should be whitish/grey and thick.
  7. Begin adding the cheese, a handful at a time, allowing it to melt.  If it's taking a lot time, you can turn up the heat to medium.
  8. After adding all the cheese, if the sauce is too thick, add more milk. 
  9. Add the salt, mustard, and hot sauce to taste.  Continue to stir.
  10. Add prepared bacon to the cheese sauce.
  11. Pour cooked macaroni into a large casserole dish, then add cheese sauce and stir together.
  12. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and add about 1/2 c shredded cheese.
  13. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until bubbling.
  14. Allow to sit for five minutes, and enjoy!

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