Saturday, January 21, 2012

Buffalo-Chicken Mac & Cheese

My car registered 2 degrees the other day.  After a mild winter, my body was not prepared for that kind of bone chilling cold.  I could not find my gloves but I did find this!  I found it (or pinned it) on Pinterest.  Do you know it?  It's like a virtual bulletin board and completely addictive.  Once you start, you're hooked.  Anyway, back to the food.  This is comforting, creamy, a bit spicy and all together tasty.  It's very rich dish so you may want to consider this as a side dish or paired with some healthy greens!

5 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 milk (now's not the time for skim so use whole please)
1 pound 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 light sour cream
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional

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.

Sprinkle blue cheese and parsley over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

From Food Network

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