Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Do you like spicy foods? If so, this is a fiery version of your traditional mac and cheese recipes. Your hot sauce-loving friends will be begging you to make this one over and over again. My advice - get all your chopping/measuring done beforehand because a lot seems to be going on at once towards the end. Just make sure you have plenty of prep time. Enjoy! -Allison Y.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

1 pound macaroni

1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3/4 cup
Frank's Hot Sauce
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 pound sharp yellow cheese cut into
1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese (shredded)
2/3 cup light 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.

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