Monday, February 13, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Me oh my, this was good. Really, really, really good. Probably even worth the $6+ of cheese. And the fight in the Fareway parking lot that is referenced in this post.

My friend Mandy once asked me for a recipe for mac & cheese. I had to admit that I didn't have one. I felt a little lame. What kind of food/lifestyle blogger/complainer doesn't have a recipe for mac & cheese? This one. It's probably because making mac & cheese out of a box is so dang easy. This recipe is worth the effort. It's so good. I'm a little hungry just thinking about it. Nicole - you could make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound (16 oz) elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound (16 oz) yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I omitted - way too expensive during the winter in Iowa)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half and add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

Combine the chicken mixture, cooked pasta, and cheese sauce and toss to combine.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Best served immediately. Makes around 8 servings.

This recipe was obtained from The Girl Who Ate Everything. She adapted it from a recipe from the Food Network.

1 comment:

Nicole @ one half world said...

Thanks for the recipe...looks yummy!!