8ozsmoked cheddar cheesesharp cheddar if can't find smoked, grated
3/4cupwhole or 2% milk
1/4tspchipotle chili powder
BBQ sauce for drizzleabout 1/4 cup
In a medium cooking pan, over medium heat, cook chicken breasts seasoned with some salt and pepper and diced bacon.
While chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside in a mixing bowl.
Dice cooked chicken and add it to the pasta. Add cooked bacon bits as well.
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a baking dish. (It can be a 2-quart baking dish or a 10-inch cast iron skillet.)
In a small sauce pot, melt butter. Sprinkle flour and mix until combined. Immediately but slowly, pour in milk, while whisking carefully.
Once the milk mixture is smooth and heated through, add grated cheese.
Add chipotle chili powder, paprika, some salt and pepper. Whisk slowly until the cheese mixture is smooth and cheese is all melted. (I recommend using a silicone covered whisk so that your cooking pot does not get scratched.)
Pour cheese mixture into the mixing bowl with pasta and meat. Mix very well and add a little more salt to taste.
Transfer into an oven-safe dish or a cast iron skillet. Spread it evenly and bake for 10-13 minutes.