Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Yes, this is as awesome as it sounds. This is one of my all-time favorite meals I have ever made. I mean buffalo chicken and macaroni and cheese combined? OH...MY...GOSH. I will say though that by no means is this good for you (yeah hi butter, carbs and cheese) but it was for Shawns birthday and special occasions call for special food and were both huge fans of buffalo-anything. I did lighten this up as much as I could and will post my changes as well as the link for the origional recipe. Me and Shawn generally like to eat healthy so that we can indulge at times with no guilt so I usually try to lighten up our meals without compromising the flavor.

I'm telling you, the changes I made were not even noticeable and so worth it. Shawn even said this might be his favorite thing I have ever made. It is perfectly cheesy and has just the right amount of heat spice. You also get an awesome crunch from the celery and onions. This dish is just perfect. Between the two of us, we polished off maybe 5 servings, but thankfully there were tons left for a few days worth of yummy leftovers.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Foodnetwork.com


7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 pound whole grain 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 (I used Franks Hot Buffalo)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 pound fat-free mild cheddar
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat 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.

Mix together the pasta, cheese mixture and chicken mixture and pour into prepared baking dish.

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.



Danielle said...

Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait to see how your cupcake cones turned out!

Kacey said...

Yum! Anything with 7 tablespoons of butter MUST be wonderful!

Colleen Kelley said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I've been dying to try this recipe since I saw it on Ultimate Recipe Showdown, but the stats are terrifying and it can be really hard to lighten up recipes with so much cheese in them...I'm going to give your version a try this weekend!

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