A while back, turns out at least a year ago, I found a “recipe” for making macaroni and cheese without a recipe. Basically, it was a guide for making a basic sauce and information on how to add in anything else you may want. Last year I made a Jerk Chicken version that turned out very well. You can read the not-a-recipe here.
This version, which was kind of the same, I think turned out even better. I say it was the same since it was the basic sauce, plus chicken and a spice. I used chicken as I had bought the rotisserie chicken and needed to use up more of it. I used about a half pound. Maybe could have used more but it was enough to make you notice it was a chicken dish but not give you chicken in every bite. I used an Italian Street Fair spice blend that has been in my cupboard for quite awhile. It comes in a grinder so I can’t really say how much I used. I can say that although I felt like its was putting a lot in, I don’t really feel like I got the flavor of it.
BUT, that really doesn’t matter as the cheese really shined in this version. I decided, mostly because I already had an eight ounce block of it, to use the suggested cheese blend of two parts Gouda (smoked) with one part sharp cheddar. Fantastic. I would definitely make this with that cheese blend again. Maybe not the same spice, or even with chicken, but definitely the cheeses.
Other than that, it was true to the not-a-recipe. I even went this time with the 3/4 pound (dry) of pasta (medium shells) rather than the full pound as I did the previous time. Glad I did. The 2 1/2 quart dish was packed full. Another 1/4 pound of pasta may have pushed it over the edge – literally. Which makes me wonder how I managed last time.
Anyway, I recommend this. The not-a-recipe gives a very good guide for making that basic sauce which lets you do anything to the rest of the dish.