I didn't even have to think twice when I was flipping through this month's Food Network Magazine...I knew right away that I'd be making this recipe. Spicy buffalo? Love it. Blue cheese? Gotta have it. Mac & cheese? At the top of my "guilty pleasures to indulge in" list. There are only two of us, and this recipe makes A LOT of food! We had leftovers for days, and some of it is still in the freezer. Think you're not one for the leftover scene? Think again. This is one dish that is even better a day or two after you make it! No joke.
Ok. Before I share this fantastic recipe, I have to make one request. Please only make this dish, and any others including meat of any kind with locally raised, grass or seed-fed chicken or beef (or whatever kind of meat you're using). I watched the documentary Food Inc. the other night, and I've been having serious guilt issues ever since. I'm making the switch to this better kind of meat from here on out, and I hope you'll join me.
Now, here you go:
From the Food Network Magazine, April 2010
beautiful melty crumbles of blue cheese...
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 c. shredded chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. hot sauce
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 1/2 c. half & half
1 lb. yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
2/3 c. sour cream
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1. preheat the oven to 350 & butter a 9x13 baking dish. bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the pasta & cook until al dente, about 7 min. drain.
2. meanwhile, melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over med. heat. add the onion & cook until soft, ~5 min. stir in the chicken & garlic & cook 2 min, then add 1/2 c. hot sauce & simmer until slightly thickened, ~1 more min.
3. melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan over med. heat. stir in the flour & mustard w/ a wooden spoon until smooth. whisk in the half & half, then add the remaining 1/4 c. hot sauce and stir until thick, ~ 2 min. whisk in the sour cream until smooth.
4. spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top w/ the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top.
5. Mix the panko, blue cheese & parsley, and sprinkle over the macaroni. bake until bubbly, 30-40 min. Let rest 10 min. before serving.