Lee and I definitely have an addiction to Buffalo Chicken. So, naturally, whenever she made this dish, we both fell in love with it.
It’s probably my favorite version, and I’m willing to guess her’s as well, of macaroni and cheese. When she made her last batch, I decided with the left overs I would turn it into a bite size, finger food in the form of deep fried mac n’ cheese. Either version would be great for the Super Bowl this weekend. Two recipes for the price of one!
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 Chicken Breasts, cooked & shredded
- 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, shredded (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, optional
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped 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.
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.