Many, many years ago my wife’s family was sitting around talking in the final days before Christmas. My eldest nephew, Danny, was around three at the time (and is now 20) and was playing on the floor with some Matchbox or HotWheels cars. The discussion came around to Santa and one of my sister-in-laws asked my nephew what he wanted for Christmas.
Danny looked up and exclaimed, “Two hookers!”
The room went silent and I quickly replied, “I’d be happy with just one!”
It was quickly clarified that he meant he wanted a toy tow truck that had two hooks on it. Um…yeah…I meant that as well….
I’d trade those trucks for a dish of this Buffalo Mac and Cheese.
There is quite a bit to this.
The pasta and onions.
Mixing the chicken together.
In the baking dish.
Topped with the blue cheese.
Out from the oven.
Melty, cheesy, spicy, yummy goodness! Much better than two hookers!
Buffalo-Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time: 30 m | Cook Time: 1 h 15 m | Makes: 6 to 8 servings | Difficulty: Easy
- 7 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 half-and-half
- 1 pound 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 (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 cup crumbled 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.
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.