Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Mac&CheeseToday I saw a tweet from Food Network Canada about their recipe of the day – Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. This was obviously instantly desirable, regardless of the equally obvious gluttony of it. The existing recipe sounded excessively cheesy to us (an odd idea, to be sure), so with a few modifications we took a stab at making our own, lowER calorie version.

Read on for the specifics of what turned out to be a rather delicious experiment. Pasta, cheese, hot sauce – need we say more?

What you’ll need: 

    • 7 tablespoons margarine
    • Salt
    • 1 pound of macaroni (454g in the non-US)
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
    • 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken (About 1 Safeway/Sobeys/Superstore chicken)
    • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
    • 3/4 cup of hot sauce
    • 2 tablespoons of flour
    • A spoonful of cornstarch
    • 2 teaspoons of dry mustard
    • 2  cups of skim milk
    • 3 cups of cheese (take your pick, but make sure it melts well – cheddar, monterey jack and similar work well)
    • 2/3 cup of sour cream
    • 1 cup of panko crumbs
    • Some dried basil

What you’ll do: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish of your choice with cooking spray (we filled an 8×8 square and 6″ round with stuff). Boil some pasta water (salt it properly!) and cook your macaroni al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook for a couple minutes, then add 1/2 cup of hot sauce and simmer for another minute.
  3. 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 milk, the remaining 1/4 cup of hot sauce and stir until thickened. Because of the skim milk, you might need to add a bit of cornstarch (make a slurry!!) to help things thicken up – we did. You’re looking for a thin gravy consistency here. Whisk in your cheese, and the sour cream until smooth.
  4. Mix up the macaroni and chicken mixture until things are nicely combined, then transfer to your prepared baking vessel. Pour that glorious cheese sauce over the works.
  5. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko and some basil if desired. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving, to let things settle down a bit. Enjoy!
This recipe made about 8-10 servings.
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

As always, let us know what you think!



2 comments on “Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

    • The panko was great on top! Lots of times, dishes like this call for plain old bread crumbs on top but we really think the panko adds a little something more!

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