Makes 6 servings
1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast half
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 strips bacon, diced
½ medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups bone broth (see Notes)
1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes, diced
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes
3 cups tricolor radiatori or other short pasta
⅓ cup BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought)
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Warm bacon fat or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in the pot. Cook until golden brown without turning, 6-8 minutes. Flip and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool for 5 minutes and then dice; it's OK if the chicken is raw in the middle as it will continue to cook when it's added back to the pot.
In the same pot, cook bacon and onion on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon crisps and onion starts to brown, 8-10 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add bone broth, tomatoes with juice, milk, thyme, chili flakes, pasta and diced chicken. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Uncover and continue simmering until pasta is cooked and liquid reduces, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in BBQ sauce and cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.