Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
You could say this is a double appetizer in one or this is what happens when comfort food and bar food make a baby. Buffalo chicken mac and cheese. It’s a lot to handle. If you don’t like buffalo chicken wings or the sauce in general, skip this. It’s not for you, as it wasn’t for me either. Buffalo wing sauce has a very distinct smell and taste which I feel is an acquired taste, like so many things out there. You could simply skip the buffalo sauce and do a chicken mac n cheese if you wish. It’s totally up to you.
Like the cupcake craze that kicked off years back, I’m wondering if mac n cheese is the new in thing. It seems to be popping up in restaurants left and right. Not long ago you could only find it if you were eyeing the kids section of the menu. It’s either the new in thing or people are just craving some good old fashioned comfort food with a new twist.
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
2 medium chicken breasts
1 C flour, plus 2 tbsp
2-3 C pasta of your choosing
4 tbsp butter
2 C milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 C monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese
2/3 C buffalo wing sauce
1/2 - 1 C bread crumbs, optional
Preheat oven to 400. In a deep fryer or electric skillet, heat up oil to 350 degrees. Prepare chicken by removing and discarding fat. Place chicken in a gallon size plastic bag. Pound and flatten out chicken to an even thickness with a meat tenderizer. When you are satisfied with the thickness, transfer to chicken to a plate or cutting board.
Using two small bowls, beat egg in one and add 1 cup flour to the other. Dip your chicken in the flour, then into the egg and back into the flour. Be sure to coat your chicken well during each dip into the flour and egg. Repeat with second piece of chicken and set aside until your oil is ready for frying.
When you oil is heated, fry chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. If you are frying in a skillet, flip your chicken halfway. Remove chicken and set aside. The chicken smelled and looked so good at this point I wanted to dive in and forget the rest, but that wasn't the plan so I had to continue... as do you!
Bring a pot of water to boil. Toss in your desired pasta and cook for 10-11 minutes. Meanwhile, using a double boiler begin melting your butter. Add in flour, stir to combine. The two ingredients will quickly form a fairly thick paste. Add in about a third of your milk. Stir until blended. Now it's time for the cheese. Remove a handful of each cheese and set aside. Using the remaining cheese, add in half and stir well. The mozzarella will be harder to manage melting than the jack cheese. Picture a mozzarella stick. Super gooey and stretchy. It's no different here and can be rather troublesome but just turn up your heat and remember to stir. Add in half of your remaining milk, mix well. And again cheese, whatever remains and the milk. Stir stir stir. Add in salt and pepper and of course mix it all up nice and good.
Prepare a large baking dish by spraying your favorite oil or drizzling and swirling around to coat. While you are waiting for your pasta to be done, slice up your chicken into bite size pieces being careful not to lose any of the crunchy coating. Toss chicken bites in a bowl and top off with buffalo sauce. Toss gently but be sure to coat your chicken really good.
When your pasta is done, drain and transfer to dish. Top off with liquid cheese mixture and stir well. Add in 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese and stir again. Flatten your mac n cheese and cover with chicken bites and any remaining buffalo sauce. You may add more sauce if desired. Spread chicken out over the entire dish evenly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture followed by some breadcrumbs. You may skip the breadcrumbs if you wish.
Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.