The Lean Green Bean

Monday, October 25, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Hi Friends-

As you may know, today is Monday :) Mondays are usually crockpot days...and I had every intention of making a nice crockpot meatloaf today. But I didn't take the turkey out in time so it wasn't totally thawed out. Bummer, but not the end of the world...I just had to rearrange the menu for this week.

So I opted to make this:  Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese
It's been on my bookmarked list for a while.

Here's what you need:

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (I had every intention of using a rotisserie chicken..but the only one left at Meijer at 9pm was marked 40% off...and while I'm very much in favor of bargains, when it comes to pre-cooked meat, I generally don't look for the discount sticker. Instead, I made some shredded chicken breast in the crockpot and called it a day)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce (I used Ken's)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard (I left this out because I didn't have any)
2-1/2 cups half-and-half (I used fat free)
1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (I bought a block and shredded it)
2/3 cup sour cream (I used fat free)
1 cup panko
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I left this out too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  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 saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Whisk in the half-and-half, then 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.

Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni.  Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.

Put the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted.  Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley.  Sprinkle over the macaroni. 

Bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 

Garnish with even more wing sauce, blue cheese and sour cream if you like!

The verdict? The hubby says it's pretty good...he requests it without the celery and with chunks of chicken instead of shredded next time. 

Also, remember here when I asked you guys to share your best pumpkin carving? Check out this one that one of my readers sent me!!

How cool is that?!?!



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