Friday, April 9, 2010

Recipe #26: Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

This is one of the more involved recipes I've put together, but every second was worth the end result. Not too hot (although we did have milk with it, just in case) but a nice amount of heat. This recipes comes from Food Network Magazine/


  • 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.

Side notes: Panko breadcrumbs can be found in the Asian food section (they're Japanese) and the amount of rotisserie chicken called for is basically the entire chicken, so you won't be wasting any of it. Be careful assembling this because all of the ingredients JUST fit in the casserole dish, but it didn't bubble over in the oven. We lined the oven shelf with aluminum foil just in case. Also, I'm not a big fan of blue cheese, but it was good in this recipe. I used a lot of dishes in this recipe, but I was able to reuse my medium pot that I used for cooking the macaroni to make the cheese sauce.

Changes: My changes were minimal. I used shredded cheese instead of a block (it all melts anyways- doesn't matter what shape it's in), used dried parsley because I was too tired to cut up fresh, and regular salted butter.

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