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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Sometimes when attempting a new dish, magic happens. The planets align, you get in your groove, and the dinner gods smile upon you. This is what happened when I made this macaroni and cheese. Then again, when a dish is full of blue cheese, buffalo sauce and macaroni're setting yourself up for success.

I have fond memories of making mac and cheese from the box. It's one of the first things I learned to make, right after ramen and toast. Box mac and cheese isn't something I eat often, but I always have a box on hand just incase the mood strikes me. Oh, and a tip! When making box mac and cheese, skip the butter and use sour cream instead. Tangy and delicious!

While box mac and cheese is great, nothing can beat the "real" and homemade. The great thing about this recipe, is it's pretty simple! I researched other buffalo mac and cheese recipes, and they seemed awfully complicated. So I tried simplifying and I'm really happy with the results. Creamy, tangy, spicy and oh so carb-o-licious.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
2 Chicken Breasts
8 oz. Macaroni Pasta
1 tbs. Butter
2 tbs. Flour
2 cups Buttermilk
4 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (plus extra for topping)
2 oz. Blue Cheese Crumbles (plus extra for topping)
1 1/2 tbs. Buffalo Sauce (plus extra for topping)
2 tbs. Bread Crumbs
Chopped Green Onion
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in the oven and let cook for about 20 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, and whisk together. Let cook for about a minute, then add buttermilk. Whisking occasionally, heat the buttermilk to a slow simmer (don't let boil).
3. Add cheddar cheese and whisk to combine. Once the cheese has melted, add buffalo sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set sauce aside.
4. In a large pot, boil water and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Add buttermilk sauce to pasta, stirring gently, Add blue cheese crumbles. Slice chicken, and cover in buffalo sauce. Add chicken to the macaroni.
5. Place macaroni into a casserole dish (I used a deep dish pie pan, 1.25 Qt). Top with bread crumbs, more cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbs.
6. Place in the oven, and let bake for about 15-20 minutes. If you'd like, broil for an extra few minutes to golden the top. Remove from oven and enjoy!

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