I have made this recipe several times since discovering it a few weeks ago in FNM. I made it the first time for Jimmy, and he of course couldn’t get enough of it! I made it again about a week ago and brought some to work to share and it was a major hit! I have a few small variations that I think make it extra special, but it’s not hard to make it just takes a little time and patience. The hardest part is getting the cheese sauce to the right consistency. After you have made it though 2 or 3 times, it’s super easy! And it’s always a hit with everyone and will feed a large crowd. Especially if you have unexpected guests at your house, kids love it too! I hope you will give this recipe a shot, because it is by far one of my favorite dishes I have tried this summer.
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb elbow macaroni (we used whole wheat pasta)
2 stalks celery
1 small yellow or white onion
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie or roasted at home)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. hot sauce (preferably Frank’s original, NOT buffalo)
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp dry mustard
2 1/2 c. half and half (we used 2 c. fat free and 1/2 c. milk)
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
2/3 c. sour cream ( we used fat free)
1 c. breadcrumbs (preferably panko, but cheese nips can be substituted here)
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 tsp. fresh parsley *optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees 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 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. (For the chicken in this step I roasted my own chicken breasts in the oven with olive oil and mcormick’s montreal chicken seasoning). Add 1/2 c. of the hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about another 2 minutes.
Melt 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and dry mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. It should be a light yellowy-brown color, with most of the flour taste cooked out of it. Be careful that your temperature is not too HIGH in this step, otherwise your sauce won’t be smooth. You may have to add another tbsp of flour in this step to get the right ratio. Whisk in the half and half ( and or milk) and the remaining 1/4 c. hot sauce plus more to taste. Stir until thick, about 2-3 minutes. alternately stir in the cheeses, cheddar and pepper jack until melted. Last, stir in the sour cream and mix well until smooth.
Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared dish, then top with the chicken mixture. Top with some of the cheese sauce, then the remaining macaroni. The rest of the cheese sauce should be spread evenly on top. Melt the 2 remaining tbsp butter in a microwave safe dish, then mix in blue cheese crumbles and breadcrumbs (or cheese nips) to make the topping. Spread the topping evenly over dish, and bake until bubbly, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 1o minutes before serving! Enjoy!!
Ahhh:) the ultimate comfort food… MAC AND CHEESE!
❤ your favorite food gal,