Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Jill’s note: I’ve been making mac and cheese quite a bit lately, after realizing it doesn’t have to be loaded with calories. Though it tastes decadent, this recipe (and my Beer and Bratwurst Mac and Cheese) has just about 500 calories per serving. You can use any kind of cheese you like in the recipe, though I think the blue cheese really makes the dish. For the shredded cheese, I usually go with a mix of cheddar and pepper jack cheeses.
2 chicken breasts (about ½ lb total)
8 oz pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
¾ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish, cover with foil, and cook for one hour, or until the chicken’s internal temperature is 165 degrees. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with a fork, and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and celery, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, cook for 2 minutes, and add ½ cup hot sauce. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt the butter in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Then, whisk in the milk. Add the remaining ¼ cup hot sauce, and stir until thickened, about 8 minutes. Whisk in the shredded cheese until melted.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the buffalo chicken and pasta. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the blue cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Broil for a few minutes to brown the top.