Warning: This is in NO WAY good for you! It sure is yummy though!!
This idea came from this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/buffalo-chicken-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html. It was featured on Ultimate Recipe Showdown last year. It is definitely a bit time consuming and requires a lot of pots and pans. But I think you will find the end result worth it!
I did change it up a bit (trying to reduce the points value and make it a little less fattening lol). First, I didn’t marinate or fry the chicken – I just grilled it. While, I’m sure the fried chicken marinated in beer was delicious, I was looking to get rid of any unnecessary fat. And I used a little less cheese than the recipe called for. I also used buffalo sauce instead of hot sauce, and just 6 slices of regular bacon. As for the pasta, I used pipette pasta instead of elbows. Oh, and I added buffalo sauce to the cheese sauce too. Here’s my version..
Start with all the prep work:
- Preheat your oven to 400º.
- Crisp up 6 slices of bacon. (I always cook my bacon in the microwave on a special tray. It helps it get really crispy!) Break the bacon into tiny pieces.
- Grill 1 pound chicken tenderloins. (Season with s&p first!)
- Slice the chicken and toss with buffalo sauce.
- Boil 1 pound of small-cut pasta in salted water. (Again, I went with pipette.)
- Meanwhile, start the rue for the cheese sauce. Melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat.
- Add about 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes (until golden brown).
- Whisk in 1/3 cup flour and cook about 1 minute.
- Whisk in 3 cups milk. Season with s&p. Bring to a boil stirring frequently.
- Add 2 cups cheddar and 2 cups mozzarella (both shredded). Stir until melted.
- I then added some buffalo sauce to the cheese sauce.
You’re ready to assemble:
- Drain the pasta. Return it to the hot pot and add the cheese sauce.
- Stir in 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles and the bacon pieces.
- Add pasta mixture to a greased 9” X 13” baking pan.
- Top with the chicken in buffalo sauce.
- Cover with an additional 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella.
- Sprinkle panko bread crumbs on top.
- Bake at 400º for about 25-30 minutes (until golden brown on top and bubbly).
This was very comforting and delicious. If I were to make it again, I would make another change. I would shred already-cooked chicken and toss it in the buffalo sauce. I would stir the chicken in with the cheese sauce so that it would be evenly distributed throughout the pasta (and not just on top).
Whatever version you try, I do recommend making it at least once. I mean, who doesn’t love buffalo wings and mac & cheese? Why not combine them?? Enjoy! 🙂
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