Friday, April 1, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese AND An Award!!!

I have been trying to find various recipes that will help my super duper picky 14 year old teenage son.  I've mentioned before that his approved list of dinners are steak, pizza and chicken wings.  I know how much he loves chicken wings, so I thought I would try this recipe.  I've actually made it several times, and 3 out of the 5 family members love it.  Guess what?  My son is NOT one of them.  Heavy, heavy sigh.  But, just because he doesn't like it shouldn't sway you from making this dish.  Remember, he's picky.  He politely eats it, but he doesn't like it.  Regardless, I love him to pieces and will continue to search for recipes that please his palette. :-)

I will put forth the following disclaimer - this is a spicy dinner.  If you are feeding a family of young kids, or older ones who just don't like hot spicy food, I would definitely cut back on the amount of hot sauce used.  Actually, the hot sauce is added in 2 places.  If you want to make it less spicy, I would start by NOT adding it to the cheese mixture and go from there.  Otherwise, if you like hot and spicy, then this is for you!!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Active Time: 35 minutes; Total Time: 1 hr. 15 minutes; Serves 6-8
Original Recipe from Food Network Kitchens

7 T unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni (or other fun pasta, I used campanelle)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 C shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ C hot sauce (preferably Frank’s)
2 T all-purpose flour
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 ½ C half and half
1 lb. yellow sharp cheese, cut into 1” cubes (about 3 ½ C)
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 C)
2/3 C sour cream
1 C panko crumbs
½ C crumbled blue cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9x13 baking dish.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.  Drain.
2.   Meanwhile, melt 3 T 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 ½ C hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.
3.   Melt 2 T 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 ¼ C 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. 
4.   Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni.  Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top. 
5.   Put the remaining 2 T butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted.  Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley.  Sprinkle over macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30-40 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Please click here for a printable version of this recipe - Kitchen Groovy

And now - for more fun news!!  I am incredibly honored to be given my 2nd award from a fellow blogger, Nami at Just One Cookbook.  Please check out her blog as it features many Japanese recipes - and for those of you who know me well, I absolutely LOVE Japanese food!!

This is called the "Sisterhood of the World Bloggers" Award - and I am humbled that my fellow foodie bloggers would think of me.  What I think is so fun about receiving and giving these awards is that it allows me to share a little bit about myself - and I love to share :-)

1. Organization is NOT my gift, but I insist the clothes in my closet are color coordinated.
2. I would much rather spend $150 on a pair of running shoes than a pair of cute boots, heels or sandals.
3. As much as I LOVE food, I have an unsophisticated palette - I have a hard time identifying ingredients in a dish just by tasting it :-)
4. I love the idea of "change".  It sounds like so much fun!
5. I hate giving kids baths - that has always been my hubby's task.  
6. I love musicals, and would spend all my free time watching them whether it's a movie or a live production.
7. I would much rather watch a slap-stick comedy movie than a romance or thriller.

Okay - my turn to nominate other amazing foodie bloggers!  Woot woot!  I love recognizing others!!  I am a follower of these bloggers, and I so enjoy reading the recipes they are cooking and their stories to go along with it.  Cook on, bake on foodie loves!

Please check out these wonderful blogs - they are sprinkled with stories and humor and loaded with great recipes that I only wish I had way more time to try all of them!

Enjoy and live with gusto!


  1. Thanks so much Carina! I'm proudly taking my award and hope to write about it this weekend. I'm also enjoying reading your blog too! And this buffalo mac & cheese sounds like a winner recipe for my family. I'll also check out the other blogs you mentioned soon. Thanks again and hHave a great weekend!

  2. now ain't you a big ol' bowl of sweetness.... to think of me and put me up there with these fine folks, thanks Carina
    and you know I love my mac and cheese and mexican spices too so this is nothing but second helping food for me...

  3. Thanks Carina for your nice introduction to my blog! This Mac & Cheese looks yummy! Adding rotisserie chicken is a great idea!

  4. Ohmigosh! I've bookmarked this bad boy...sooooo good. And Congrats!

  5. Thank you so much Carina! That is so sweet of you and I'm so excited about this award! This pasta looks amazing! I love anything "buffalo style" especially with Frank's hot sauce. I'm definitely making this!! Thanks again, I really enjoy following your blog as well. Have a great weekend!

  6. Ms. Carina - I'm touched that you thought of me :)

    Very thrilled and honored - it's been so much fun to follow you especially on Facebook! I'm just coming out of hiatus from blogging but I'll be posting this bad boy up in a few days. Can't wait!

    Looking forward to checking out the others and connecting :)

  7. Thank you Carina! Love your blog too and enjoy following you on Facebook. :D Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  8. I have to share this with my friends. It looks too good.