Monday, November 29, 2010

Buffalo Mac-n-Cheese

This mac-n-cheese was gourmet!  We make homemade mac-n-cheese often, mostly because I can't stand the box kind, so when I saw this I knew my husband would love it.  And I was totally right!  He loves spicy things and this was spicy, but in such a yummy way that I really liked it too.  As a side note, my kids didn't like it (not because of the flavor per se, but because of the spiciness).  Remember you can always substitute different cheeses for the pepper jack (like parmesan) and reduce the amount of hot sauce you add so it would be appealing even for the kiddos.

7 T. butter
1 lb. (16 oz) elbow macaroni 
1 small onion, finely chopped  
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (I used canned chicken and it worked great) 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce (preferably Frank's. If you are worried about the heat factor add half the amount)
3 T.  flour 
2 t. dry mustard 
2 1/2 c. half-and-half 
1 lb. (16 oz) yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups) 
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) 
2/3 c. sour cream 
1 c. panko breadcrumbs (found in the grocery store next to regular breadcrumbs) 
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese 
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain. 

2.  Meanwhile, melt 3 T. of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Then add 1/2 c. hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute. 

3.  Melt 2 T. of butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half and 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. 
Combine the chicken mixture, cooked pasta, and cheese sauce and toss to combine.

4.  Put the remaining 2 T. 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. 

Best served immediately.

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