Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Buffalo-Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

David was very skeptical of adding chicken to macaroni and cheese, but we all really liked this spicy casserole.  This makes a ton of food, so you might want to cut the recipe in half.  It made enough to fill a 9 x 13" pan plus a square pan that I froze minus the blue cheese and panko topping that I will add prior to cooking.  The original portion would be a great addition to a Super Bowl spread or any large gathering.

7 TBSP unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 lb 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 TBSP all-purpose flour
2 tsp dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 lb yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 TBSP 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.

Mix the macaroni, chicken and cheese sauce all together.  Spread in the prepared baking dish.  There will be enough leftover to put in a prepared square tin  for freezing for another day.  Don't put the panko topping on the casserole you freeze.  When cooking the frozen one defrost and continue as follows.

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.

*This recipe is compliments of the Food Network.

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