Macaroni and Chicken Casserole With Mushrooms
8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mild Cheddar or Cheddar Jack combination, divided
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 cup bread crumbs, soft
Cook macaroni following package directions; drain in a colander and rinse under hot running water. Heat oven to 350°.
Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.
In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are browned. Remove mushrooms to a plate.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the same pan and heat over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth then gradually stir in the milk. Add pepper and salt; cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the mushrooms back to the sauce along with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Stir in the parsley, chicken, peas, and drained macaroni. Stir to blend. Spoon the macaroni mixture into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the buttery bread crumbs over the top of the casserole. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and bubbly.