buffalo chicken mac & cheese*

I finished my first Pinterest inspired crafting project about a week ago. I am loving my little pom pom flowers! They turned out so cute, and I have even had a request to sell them at the upcoming boutique at work! I am already going to be selling some cake pops and cupcakes (maybe), so why not throw in some adorable pom pom flowers?

Here's a pic up close and personal:

How cute are they?? The tutorial is from Ivey Handcrafted - if you, too, would like to make these cutest little guys! Or, if you don't want to spend the time, drop by the Heritage Boutique on November 3-4 and I will have some for you to purchase! If you want more info on the boutique, just e-mail or leave me a message on this post and I would be happy to give the low-down!

And, I have some exciting news! There has been a new addition to our little kitchen family. Welcome our new charbroiler for all of our steak, hamburger, chicken and pork chop needs!

We have already used it a couple of times and pretty much love it! We have determined, however, that we need to be more on the ball and have it preheated and ready to go, or else a 4 oz. piece of chicken takes 45 minutes. That is no bueno. But we will get the hang of our new toy, don't you fret! I am already loving the beautiful presentation it gives, and of course everything tastes better straight off the grill!

This buffalo chicken mac & cheese is simply amazing! I am not the biggest buffalo sauce fan, at least not straight up. But this mac and cheese is to die! The buffalo sauce just gives it the slightest tang and little bit of kick, and the crunchy breadcrumb topping just adds that perfect little bit of texture. I am in LOVE with this recipe! The students actually loved it, too. This will be on my menu for the long haul.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
from The Girl Who Ate Everything

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound (16 oz) elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
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)
2 tablespoons  flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound (16 oz) 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 breadcrumbs (found in the grocery store next to regular breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (we left the blue cheese out)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

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.

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 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.

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.

Best served immediately. Makes around 8 servings.

Source: Adapted from the Food Network



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