Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recipe - Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese - Non-Crockpot

My husband's coworker made this recipe first.  She brought leftovers to work and he liked the look & smell of it so he asked her for the recipe.  The original recipe came from here at the Food Network .  I always change things up a little depending on what I have on hand and my skill set.  The prep for this dish was pretty long, I would say about 30 mins.  Also, this is a RICH meal, so the week that you make this plan to serve grilled chicken and fish the rest of the week, haha!

1 stick butter, cut into 3-3-2 tablespoons
Kosher salt (for boiling pasta only)
1 lb of Elbow macaroni
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery
3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup of Frank's Red Hot sauce
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
2 1/2 cups of half and half
1 pound of sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces of pepper jack cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

What I changed:
  • I used table salt, not sure if it's Kosher or not.
  • I used rotini because I didn't have a full box of elbows.
  • I added 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • I increased the onion from small to medium.
  • I skipped the celery because I only like it raw, not cooked.  Unless someone else is cooking then, it's fine.
  • I used regular chicken breasts and boiled them since I didn't have a rotisserie chicken on hand and I think that boiled chicken breasts hold up better in casseroles.
  • I used garlic powder on the chicken instead of mincing fresh garlic
  • I used powdered mustard because I couldn't find dry mustard in the spice aisle.
  • I used shredded cheddar.
  • I used a block of pepper jack that I cubed myself for easier melting.
  • I only had regular bread crumbs, not panko, so I used those.
  • I didn't have any parsley but there were some green flakes in the breadcrumbs.
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.

To help cut down on the number of pots and pans, I boiled the pasta, boiled the chicken and melted the cheese all in the same pan  (I used the same 3x, washed it in between).
cheese and onions



chicken & hotsauce

3 layers

3 layers + cheese sauce
with bread crumbs and blue cheese

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