This updated version of the classic dish is by America's Test Kitchen. It has a creamy, savory cheesy base and is topped with a layer of buttery Ritz Crackers.
Course: Main Dishes
Keyword: chicken, noodles
Author: America's Test Kitchen
12ounceswide egg noodles
1 ½teaspoontable saltplus salt for cooking pasta
1red bell pepperstemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
2 ½cupschicken broth
1poundboneless, skinless chicken breaststrimmed and halved lengthwise
4ouncesdeli American cheesechopped coarse
4ouncessharp cheddar cheeseshredded (1 cup)
1 ½cupsfrozen peas
25Ritz Crackerscrushed coarse
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add noodles and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until just al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cool, about 3 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water until cool, about 2 minutes. Drain again and set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in now-empty pot over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl set aside. Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in again-empty pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in half-and-half and broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Off heat, transfer chicken to plate. Let chicken cool slightly, then shred with 2 forks into bite-size pieces. Whisk cheese into sauce until smooth. Stir peas, pepper, salt, noodles, bell pepper mixture, and shredded chicken into cheese sauce.
Transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish (or similar size casserole dish) and top with crackers. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let casserole cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
To make ahead Do not add peas or top casserole with crushed crackers. Casserole can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. To serve, cover casserole dish tightly with greased aluminum foil and bake in 400-degree oven until hot throughout, 45 minutes. Uncover, stir in peas and top with crushed crackers; bake until topping is crisp and golden, 10 minutes.Recipe reprinted with permission from America's Test Kitchen The Kitchen Bible: Say Goodbye To Boring Chicken With 500 Recipes For Easy Dinners, Braises, Wings, Stir-Fries, And So Much More, copyright 2021.