Buffalo-Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
So you may recall my last post on Wednesday was titled Hump Day is Healthy Day. Well, today it’s finally Friday and let me tell you, I don’t feel like eatin’ too lite, forget the fish, gimme’ some cheese, actually two kinds of cheese, sour cream, sautéed chicken in Frank’s hot sauce, some macaroni, and then pour more cheese over the top and hey how about some buttery panko on top for added texture! Oh this is the day we’ve been waiting for. I really like this dish, because it’s not just mac and cheese, its better. It has more flavor and textures to keep your mouth interested. You get a bite of celery, a swipe of heat from the Frank’s hot sauce, sautéed chicken and topping it off with a panko crust. I’m a sucker for anything with Frank’s hot sauce, as their memorable ad campaign slogan states “I put that *&$# on everything.” This dish took a little over an hour, not bad, still qualifies for my seal of approval as being EJlicious. One awesome feature is that you’ll have left-overs to take to work and share, if you want to, or not. Thanks as always for reading and have a great weekend!
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank’s)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 pound 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 (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch 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 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.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network.