This entire week, walking outside has been like walking into a hot sauna. The humidity is stifling and suffocating. This is totally weird but I love going on a walk with Winston in the humidity and then coming back into the house to the cold air smacking my face. The temperature difference puts a smile on my face. It’s one of those moments where I think about how lucky I am to have air conditioning.
It’s definitely way too hot out to grill this week but it’s never too hot to fire up the oven and stove to make this Memphis style mac and cheese. The chicken is so flavorful, tender, and moist while the pasta is full of sharp cheesy goodness!
This is a sponsored post with Reynolds Wrap®. All opinions are my own.
This Memphis style mac and cheese recipe could not be any easier. I love how the seasoning from the Memphis style chicken is distributed throughout the cheesy pasta when you toss it together.
Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil makes it super easy to roast chicken in the oven. The chicken literally lifted right off with ease at the end of the cooking process. There was no sticking and no struggle. I really dislike when I remove meats from a baking sheet and parts of the meat sticks to the baking sheet and you have to end up scrubbing it off. Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil makes cleanup a breeze and no more stuck meat to the baking sheet!
So I made this recipe (and another one coming soon!) as part of Reynold’s Endless Table campaign. Have you seen it? It’s so awesome. It’s literally an endless table. You have to go see it and you have to see the video they made of my Memphis style mac and cheese!
And of course, you have to go make this recipe for your own table! :)
Memphis Style Mac & Cheese
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
For the Memphis-Style Rub
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the rest of the dish:
- 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 1/2 cups cavatappi pasta or similar shape such as rotini pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heaping of extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup heaping of intense white cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- WHISK all the ingredients for the Memphis-Style Rub in a small bowl and set aside.
- PRE-HEAT oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil.
- PLACE chicken thighs onto prepared baking sheet and generously sprinkle Memphis-Style Rub on all sides of the chicken thighs, gently pressing down onto the chicken thighs.
- COVER baking sheet tightly with another sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil.
- BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear or meat thermometer reads 170°F for breasts, 180°F for other pieces. During the last 15 minutes of baking, remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Once chicken is done, remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
- CHOP chicken into pieces.
- BOIL a pot of water and add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 10-12 minutes, depending on the pasta shape you use. Drain pasta when done cooking.
- MELT butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in all-purpose flour and chicken broth. Let thicken for 3-5 minutes.
- ADD cheeses to the skillet and stir with a spatula until melted and smooth.
- ADD the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to incorporate.
- ADD the chicken pieces to the mac ‘n cheese and stir to incorporate.
- SEASON with salt and pepper, to taste.
- SERVE and enjoy!