Grilled Chicken & Bacon & Mac ‘n Cheese
by Niki W.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a rack placed over a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Chop and reserve.
  3. Switch on the broiler and position the rack in the center of the oven.
  4. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the instructions indicate, or until just shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
  5. While the pasta is boiling, heat a grill pan or cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil to coat lightly, then season evenly with paprika, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and half the pieces lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
  7. While the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until light golden and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the cider (or stock), then the milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Add the thyme and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheeses until melted. Add the chicken, bacon and sauce to the pasta and transfer to a casserole. Broil until bubbling and browned, about 5 minutes.
  10. Garnish with the parsley (or celery greens).