Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Howdy.

I got to thinking about S'Mac in NYC yesterday and their tasty buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese.


Then I got to thinking about NYC which led to me thinking about my friends who I miss so much and I got sad. When I get sad, I need comfort food, which caused me to crave macaroni and cheese. IT'S A VICIOUS CYCLE.


Look at me trying to be in the picture. 

While "working" yesterday I googled around to see if I could find a lightened version of a buffalo chicken macaroni recipe but I couldn't find any that really struck me. Others seemed to be too complicated. So I merged two recipes into one, because I'm really innovative and smart.

As a lot of you know, skinnytaste is a jam. The recipes are delightful and delicious and very easy. The basic recipe is here. I also used some elements from this recipe.

Ingredients:
12 oz elbow macaroni
3 tbsp fake butter or the real thing
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cups of skim milk
1 cup of fat free chicken broth
8 oz reduced fat sharp cheddar
handful of extra cheddar for topping
4 ounces of blue cheese
1/2 cup franks hot sauce (more or less depending on your taste)
12 ounces of cooked chicken cut into pieces
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs (or however much you want)
cooking spray

Cook pasta according to the package directions, preheat oven to 375.

In a large heavy bottomed skillet (I used cast iron just for ease but do whatever floats your boat) melt butter on medium heat, add onions and cook about 2 minutes. Whisk in flour until dissolved, add milk and chicken broth turn up to medium high until it begins to bubble and becomes thick and there are no lumps. (be patient) Season with salt and pepper and a pinch or two of garlic salt.

Once your sauce is thick, remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese and stir until it's completely melted. Slowly add the frank's sauce tasting as you go. Adjust salt, pepper and garlic powder if you need to. taste! taste! taste! Once you've reached your desired heat stir in the chicken and macaroni. Now you can pour the mixture into a greased or sprayed baking dish or you can leave it all in your cast iron skillet, I opted for this since it's less clean up. Sprinkle your handful of extra cheddar, sprinkle the blue cheese on and then top with seasoned bread crumbs and spray with cooking spray.

Bake for about 25 minutes and then broil (carefully) to toast your bread crumbs.

I actually used less noodles and as a result my finished product was more saucy but I'll follow the directions next time.

I wasn't smart or thinking ahead last night when I made this dish so I didn't take a picture of the finished product in the cast iron skillet, but I do have this for your viewing pleasure.




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