Last week a little blip popped up on my facebook:
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese….. YUM
wrote my cousin Angie. And in an instant, I knew I had to have it. My cousin Angie is pregnant, and she served this dish for two pregnant friends. They loved it. I’m not pregnant (and neither is the hubs) but we both thought this was one of the best things we have ever eaten. So, preggo or not, make this recipe, and savour every minute of it!
Angie found the recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything. I hadn’t previously stumbled across Christy’s blog, but I have to say… I’ll be back!
This recipe isn’t particularly difficult to prepare, but it is time consuming. I promise that it is well worth the effort, but if like me you don’t have much time to cook on weekdays, I suggest you try this on a weekend! It starts off with finely chopped onions, celery, garlic and shredded chicken.
Add to that a couple of mountains of cheese, a roux, and some Franks (buffalo style) RedHot.
Prepare your dish and pop it in the oven till it bubbles. Presto change-o, you have the world’s most delicious mac and cheese.
And because we *really* needed more calories at dinner, we scarfed it down with a glass of milk and a followed it with three delicious macarons.
From left to right, Vanilla Bean, Raspberry, Chocolate Ginger. If you want to check out some more delicious macarons, check out my friend Heather’s “No Macaron Left Behind” Challenge!
All in all, and amazing dinner.
Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
- I prepared a 1/2 recipe; it was more than enough for dinner and a lunch of leftovers for the hubs and I.
- I served it with an arugula (rocket) side salad with a simple lemon, shallot and olive oil dressing.
- 7 tbsps unsalted butter
- 1 lb (454g) elbow macaroni
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 4 chicken breasts, baked, shredded and finely chopped (original calls for 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (original calls for 2 cloves)
- 3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce (preferably Frank’s. Or to taste.)
- 2 tbsps flour
- 2 tsp dry mustard (I used tbsps by mistake, no problem)
- 2 cups half-and-half (original calls for 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 lb (454g sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (original says to cube the cheese)
- 8 oz (227g) swiss cheese, shredded (original calls for pepper jack)
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 cup panko
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 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.
[Ed. It really is best served immediately. We both had it for lunch two days later and found all the spice had disappeared! If you are going to bring leftovers, bring your Franks!]